Nearly 46 million people in the UK could be in fuel poverty by next January, an analysis by researchers at the University of York has found.
Under current energy price cap forecasts, with annual bills set to rise from an average of £1,971 to £4,200, some 66 per cent of families will fall under the definition of fuel poverty – spending more than 10 per cent of their net income on energy. By comparison, only 19 per cent of British households were considered fuel-poor in 2019-20.
Certain types of families will be more likely to enter fuel poverty, such as those with more than three children (95 per cent), single parents with more than one child (90 per cent) and pensioner couples (86 per cent).
Across the UK, Northern Ireland is expected to have the highest share of families in fuel poverty (76 per cent), followed by Scotland (73 per cent) and the West Midlands (71 per cent). At the other end, London families are the least likely to enter fuel poverty (56 per cent).
While energy prices have surged across much of Europe, British consumers are expected to shoulder a bigger share of that increase than their foreign counterparts. Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have ruled out freezing energy prices.