Fuel poverty: which areas of London will be hardest hit by gas price rises

More than 500,000 Londoners live in fuel poverty, and are likely to be seriously impacted by the energy price rises this winter.

More than 500,000 families living in fuel poverty across London are set to be the hardest hit this winter as wholesale gas prices reach record highs, pushing consumer energy bills up.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the impending cut to the £20 Universal Credit uplift and surging energy prices could plunge people into poverty.

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A whopping 530,740 households in London are living in fuel poverty, analysis by LondonWorld’s sister site National World found.

That’s 15% of all houses in the capital, which is fewer than one in seven homes.

To be defined as in fuel poverty, households need to be in a home with an inefficient energy rating, as well as being left below the poverty line after heating costs.

There are vast inequalities across London.

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According to the latest figures, Barking and Dagenham has the highest proportion of households in fuel poverty.

Almost one in four homes are left below the poverty line after heating costs, with 22.5% of households in fuel poverty.

The second worst borough for fuel poverty was neighbouring Newham, with just over one in five households below the poverty line.

And Waltham Forest was the third most affected local authority, with 21.1% of homes suffering from fuel poverty.

This was a huge difference compared to the wealthier areas, which had much lower levels of fuel poverty.

Excluding the City, which has hardly any residents, Richmond had the lowest proportion of households below the poverty line.

Just over one in 10 homes in the south-west London borough suffered from fuel poverty.

It was a similar story in Bromley, which borders with affluent parts of Kent, which had a rate of 11.9%.

And leafy Kingston had the third lowest levels of fuel poverty across the capital, at 12.4%.

To find out the figures where you live, see the interactive map above.

Peter Matejic, deputy director of evidence and impact at The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said the rising energy prices and axing of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit would be “devastating” to around 5.5 million families across the country.

Mr Matejic said: “This historic cut will have the most severe impact in areas already experiencing high levels of fuel poverty.

“But wherever they live, millions of families across the country will immediately face unnecessary hardship and be forced to make impossible decisions between feeding their families, heating their homes, or paying the bills.

“If the Prime Minister wants to truly level up and improve living standards in the face of the rising cost of living, he must reverse this damaging cut or risk his premiership being defined by plunging people into poverty.”

A spokesperson for the UK Government said that the uplift to Universal Credit was “always temporary” and that it provides price protection for low income and vulnerable consumers on default tariffs through the energy price cap and the Warm Home Discount scheme.

A Government spokesperson said: “We are investing £1.3 billion into making homes more energy efficient, cheaper to heat and helping low-income families significantly reduce their energy bills.”

“The uplift to Universal Credit was always temporary, to help claimants through the economic shock of the toughest stages of the pandemic.”