One in ten in Leeds struggling to heat homes

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More than one in ten of all households in Leeds are living in fuel poverty, new figures have revealed.

The proportion of homes that can’t afford adequate heating is at 12 per cent in the city, with national campaigners warning that the problem will not be solved in the lifetime of a child born today on current rates of progress.

According to analysis by price comparison website MoneySuperMarket.com, the average ‘fuel poverty gap’ in Yorkshire, meaning the amount needed per household to achieve the minimum heating standard, is £331.

Staff at the price comparison site also say parts of the UK are wasting as much as £115 on inefficient boilers, bulbs, and insulation, as well as by leaving household electronics on standby.

And it is feared that with temperatures dropping quickly, many more areas of the UK may be at risk of slipping into fuel poverty over the coming months.

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket.com, said: “It is upsetting to think of so many households in fuel poverty where some of the most significant ways of helping this are not being taken advantage of.

“Many of these households will still be on the most expensive tariffs and could save hundreds of pounds a year by switching, even to a tariff from the same supplier.

“For those most struggling, many suppliers have schemes and initiatives to help.”

In the UK, a person is regarded as living “in fuel poverty” if he is a member of a household living on a lower income in a home which cannot be kept warm at reasonable cost.

Thirteen per cent of households in Bradford, more than 26,000 in total, are considered to be fuel poor, the figures suggest, the highest proportion in Yorkshire and the 11th worst in the country. Leeds was 22nd with 12 per cent of households, 38,613 in total, struggling to heat their homes.

Cori Braham.

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