A qualitative study on people’s experiences of fuel poverty in the North West of England


  • Pamela Radakovic


Fuel poverty, qualitative, cold homes, housing


Fuel poverty is currently one of the biggest public health issues facing the United Kingdom. With the continuous increase in energy prices, more families are being placed into fuel poverty and it is only set to get worse. This qualitative study aims to investigate and analyse people’s experience of living in fuel poverty in the North West of England. The study of fuel poverty is of importance to environmental and public health as local authorities have a duty to ensure people live in a household of an adequate temperature to ensure the health and well-being of the public. The findings from this study shows how government intervention may not be as successful as anticipated and although households receive some government support, it simply is not enough to alleviate the problem. The results drawn from interviewing six participants could not possibly give a complete indication of the severity of fuel poverty in North West England, but collectively all interviews drew the same conclusion. The results showed that not only were people in social housing and in receipt of benefits suffering from fuel poverty, but homeowners and full-time workers were quite possibly in a worse situation as they could not access the help offered to the aforementioned. This led the researcher to conclude that the government interventions were not as successful as anticipated and there was an unfairness in the distribution of support made available to households. Suggestions included more sustainable homes, better support for fuel poor households, government intervention to ban energy companies from continuous price hikes.