UK ‘Worst In Europe’ On Housing And Fuel Poverty


According to a new study by the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), compared to 15 other European countries; the UK performs most poorly across a range of housing and fuel poverty indicators. The UK also ranks 14th on fuel poverty, with an even higher proportion of people struggling to pay their energy bills.

As a nation, the UK ranks 12th in terms of homeowners stating that their homes are in a poor state of repair and comes last based on the proportion of households that say they’re unable to afford to adequately heat their homes. Poor levels of insulation are also prominent in the UK, resulting in the UK lagging behind countries such as Sweden, Germany and Denmark.

Jenny Holland, Head of the Parliamentary Team at the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said: “Of the 26 million households in the UK, four out of five have poor levels of energy efficiency, rated band D or below. As today’s findings clearly show, this places our nation right at the bottom of the European rankings for housing and fuel poverty and represents an energy bill crisis for UK consumers.” 

Reacting to the report, Ice Energy founder and MD Andrew Sheldon, said: “These are clearly disappointing statistics which demonstrate how much work the UK has to do in order to catch up with the rest of Europe. The encouraging aspect though is that products exist in the market place which can enable us to do just that.

“Both domestically and from a social housing point, we have clear examples of people benefiting from the lower cost, yet highly efficient heating provided by heat pumps. We have seen individuals reduce their running costs by more than 50% by switching to heat pumps, particularly in rural areas where they were previously using oil, while on a community wide basis, we have seen entire areas benefit from affordable heating which has helped remove the burden of fuel poverty.”

“The report states that the UK’s most efficient homes, rated G on an A to G scale, must spend £2, 670 each year on energy on average to heat and light their homes. However, our own projections identify that a Ground Source Heat Pump can save homeowners considerable sums. For example, a 3 bedroom, 130sqm, semi-detached house could cost as little as £400* for heating and hot water per annum. Additionally by using a heat pump, not only are you reducing your energy bills, you are also helping the environment.

“If more forward-thinking individuals and organisations are prepared to embrace renewables, I have absolutely no doubt that considerable progress can be made and the UK can climb the performance charts on years to come.”

*Figures assume basic internal insulation has been implemented with loft insulation to 250mm. Figures are indicative only & will vary from property to property. Full quotations are available on request. Note that this doesn’t include lighting and therefore this figure is not a direct like-for-like with the earlier quoted figure.