New fuel poverty calculator

Our tool for community groups uses the old and new definitions

2 September 2013

It may have escaped your notice, but the official definition of fuel poverty has recently been changed following a government review. We have produced a new fuel poverty calculator to do the new sums for you.

The new 'Hills' definition of fuel poverty is an attempt to pinpoint the people most in need of help. It is slightly more complicated but, put simply, a fuel poor household is now one with a low income and high fuel bills. The old definition (where 10% of your income is spent on fuel bills) tended to classify some wealthier people as 'fuel poor' because they were spending a lot on fuel to heat a large house, but this wasn't pushing them into poverty. Both definitions are being used alongside each other for the time being.

Our new fuel poverty calculator is aimed at community groups. It can be used to determine whether an individual household is in fuel poverty according to both the old and new definitions. All the instructions are included in the calculator (which runs in Excel). We want you to be able to use this tool on a community scale, so it also contains a form you can print off for householders to fill in, to help you collect the relevant information. And you can also use the tool to build up a database of people's fuel poverty status across your area.

If you’d like to use the new fuel poverty calculator, please get in touch with our communities team on communities@cse.org.uk and they'll send it over to you.

Stay up to date with our work - sign up for our fortnightly newsletter