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Energy, equity and the future of the fuel poor

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  • Roberts, Simon

Abstract

A warm and adequately-lit home is considered a basic need, together with access to energy-consuming appliances ranging from a fridge to a TV. An underlying tenet of sustainable energy is that such basic needs should be affordably met. Yet low incomes, energy-inefficient housing and appliances and high energy costs mean that roughly 10 per cent of UK households, many of them elderly or with young children, fail to attain this basic standard. These households, which would need to spend more than 10 per cent of their income to attain adequate energy services, are officially defined as 'fuel poor'. Their cold, poorly equipped homes lead to chronic cold-related health conditions, exacerbate social isolation, and may undermine educational achievement. In addition, rural areas have a disproportionately high incidence of fuel poverty. This Review examines the current distribution of energy consumption, its social impacts, and the opportunities to address fuel poverty through improvements to the housing stock. It will then consider potential future developments.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberts, Simon, 2008. "Energy, equity and the future of the fuel poor," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4471-4474, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4471-4474
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jamasb, T. & Meier, H., 2011. "Energy Spending and Vulnerable Households," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1109, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Schaffrin, André & Reibling, Nadine, 2015. "Household energy and climate mitigation policies: Investigating energy practices in the housing sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-10.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:367-375 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2015. "Fuel poverty, affordability, and energy justice in England: Policy insights from the Warm Front Program," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(P1), pages 361-371.
    5. Helena Meier, Tooraj Jamasb, and Luis Orea, 2013. "Necessity or Luxury Good? Household Energy Spending and Income in Britain 1991-2007," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    6. Labandeira, Xavier & Labeaga, José M. & Rodríguez, Miguel, 2009. "An integrated economic and distributional analysis of energy policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5776-5786, December.
    7. Li, Kang & Lloyd, Bob & Liang, Xiao-Jie & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2014. "Energy poor or fuel poor: What are the differences?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 476-481.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:691-:d:96965 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:enepol:v:114:y:2018:i:c:p:609-618 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Scarpellini, Sabina & Rivera-Torres, Pilar & Suárez-Perales, Inés & Aranda-Usón, Alfonso, 2015. "Analysis of energy poverty intensity from the perspective of the regional administration: Empirical evidence from households in southern Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 729-738.
    11. Camprubí, Lluís & Malmusi, Davide & Mehdipanah, Roshanak & Palència, Laia & Molnar, Agnes & Muntaner, Carles & Borrell, Carme, 2016. "Façade insulation retrofitting policy implementation process and its effects on health equity determinants: A realist review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 304-314.
    12. repec:eee:enepol:v:117:y:2018:i:c:p:208-217 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Saamah Abdallah & Ian Gough & Victoria Johnson & Josh Ryan-Collins & Cindy Smith, 2011. "The distribution of total greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK, and some implications for social policy," CASE Papers case152, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    14. Stefan Bouzarovski & Saska Petrova & Sergio Tirado-Herrero, 2014. "From Fuel Poverty to Energy Vulnerability: The Importance of Services, Needs and Practices," SPRU Working Paper Series 2014-25, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    15. Rosenow, Jan & Platt, Reg & Flanagan, Brooke, 2013. "Fuel poverty and energy efficiency obligations – A critical assessment of the supplier obligation in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1194-1203.

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