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Fuel poverty issue in England

Fuel poverty is a significant issue in England, with millions of households struggling to pay for adequate heating and energy to maintain a decent standard of living. According to government statistics, around 10% of households in England were living in fuel poverty in 2021. This figure is likely to have increased further due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem is particularly acute for vulnerable groups, including low-income families, the elderly, and those with long-term health conditions.

Fuel poverty in the UK can have particularly severe consequences for vulnerable people, including:

  • Health issues: This can include respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues.
  • Financial hardship: They may be forced to choose between heating their home and other essential expenses, such as food or medical costs.
  • Higher risk of fuel-related accidents: Vulnerable people may resort to unsafe or unhealthy coping strategies to deal with fuel poverty, such as using candles or portable heaters, which can increase the risk of fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Social isolation: Fuel poverty can also have a significant impact on an elderly person’s social and emotional wellbeing, which can lead to social isolation and anxiety.


Additionally, older people may face several difficulties in controlling their heating, which can exacerbate fuel poverty and contribute to health problems. Some of the common difficulties faced by older people include:

  • Limited mobility: Older people with mobility issues may struggle to access their heating controls or adjust their heating settings, leading to discomfort and inadequate heating.
  • Cognitive impairment: Cognitive impairments, such as dementia, can make it challenging for older people to remember to turn their heating on or off, adjust the temperature, or manage their energy bills.
  • Poor eyesight: Older people with poor eyesight may find it difficult to read the display on their thermostat or heating controls, leading to confusion and incorrect settings.
  • Limited technology skills: Older people who are not familiar with new technology may struggle to use digital thermostats or heating apps, leading to frustration and inadequate heating.
  • Lack of support: Older people living alone may not have anyone to assist them with managing their heating, leading to a lack of control and potential health risks.


To address these difficulties, older people may benefit from tailored support and assistance, such as the installation of easy-to-use heating controls and a home environment monitoring system which can monitor the home environment continually and provide ways to control the heating remotely.


Beanbag Care offers a service called “Assisted Comfort” which addresses the above issues. It provides simple and easy to use one touch controls to manage the heating within the home, and a mobile app to control the heating outside of home. It also monitors humidity and carbon monoxide, and generates alerts if levels become unsafe.


Read our article published in Focus, and for more information, visit our website, or contact us on