Eliminating fuel poverty in the UK became government policy in 2003, and subsequently national performance indicators were developed to monitor the progress of local areas. Achieving this by the target date of 2016 requires not only sufficient resources but also a clear method for identifying where investment should be directed for maximum effect and how change can be monitored at local and national levels.
Key research Question
The project aimed to develop a standardised tool that offered a user-friendly way to calculate the prevalence of fuel poverty at local geographical levels. This would provide local authorities and partners with a valuable method of targeting resources where they are most needed. If such a common framework could be applied across the country, it would enable comparative monitoring to be conducted.
Summary of activity
Qualitative data from the 2003 English House Condition Survey, the 2001 Census and the RESIDATA property database underpinned the technical development of the statistical tool. Further details of the methodology were included on the CSE website. It built on a similar resource created earlier by the CSE.
The Fuel Poverty Indicator (FPI) online calculator was constructed as a visual web-based toolkit designed to predict levels of risk for different household types in England according to four definitions of fuel poverty, namely, ‘full income’, ‘basic income’, ‘full income (equivalised)’ and ‘basic income (equivalised)’. By using information from a number of datasets, maps and data could be produced down to Lower Super Output Area level.
The summary recommended that further development should incorporate more datasets to enable a more refined analysis to be generated.