Part two: Fuel poverty in electrically heated homes


Around 2.2million households in the UK are electrically heated, which accounts for 8.5% of all homes. This includes storage heating (1.7million), direct acting heating systems (0.5million) and heat pumps (less than 0.1million). In total, 16% of electrically heated homes in England and 50% of electrically heated homes in Scotland are living in fuel poverty - a total of 454,480 households.

Based on the average £353 fuel poverty gap for England, this makes an estimated accumulative fuel poverty gap of around £160million per year in electrically heated homes in England and Scotland

(Whilst this series focuses on the potential to reduce fuel poverty in electrically heated homes, it is important to note that 10% of mains gas fuelled households in England and 31% in Scotland are also living in fuel poverty. This equates to a total of nearly 2.5 million fuel poor households heated by gas in England and Scotland.)

The majority of whole-house electric heating systems in the UK fall under one of four categories:

Fuel poverty data

Each system has its own merits, and different systems will be better suited to different properties based on the property type, tenure, geographical location, lifestyle of the user and other factors.

If we can improve the efficiency of electrically heated homes, we can reduce a combined £160 million fuel poverty gap for more than 450,000 households in England and Wales.

Of course, there are other factors outside of heating systems that can contribute to a household living in fuel poverty. Insulation, glazing and building fabric, for example, can all play a part, especially in older homes. The fact remains, however, that too many households are living with outdated or ineffective heating systems in electrically heated homes. In fact, due to their inherent reliability, the average storage heater in the UK is more than 20 years old, and around 70% of the UK’s installed storage heat­ers are of the old, manually-controlled type. With the state-of-the-art technology now employed within Dimplex heaters, we have more control than ever over how we use our heating and ensuring that no energy gets wasted.

The next in this series will begin to explore the reasons why so many people in the UK are living in fuel poverty and how we can address it...