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“Fuel poverty” report published

Dr David Deller (2002, Economics and Management), Researcher in Competition Policy and Regulation at UEA, has co-published the report “Fairness in Retail Energy Markets? Evidence from the UK” with Professor Catherine Waddams.

The report explores the reasons why the energy market is so politicised, how regulation of the market has evolved, and issues with current policy approaches to “fuel poverty”. One of its key findings is that low-income households spend a much higher proportion of their expenditure on energy compared to high-income households with low income households devoting 15.9% of their household expenditure to energy compared to 6.6% for high income households. It also found that the current focus of fuel poverty policy, improving the energy efficiency of dwellings, does not deal with many of the factors leading people to struggle with energy affordability.

Dr Deller commented: “This report brings together a wide range of academic evidence to explain why the energy market has attracted so much political attention and the potential consequences of this politicisation. The evidence we present not only considers how energy expenditures have evolved over the long-run, but also includes interviews with tenants struggling to afford energy and interviews with senior members of the regulatory community. We suggest that the independence of the energy regulator has evolved over time, and the official fuel poverty statistics likely do not capture all aspects of the affordability challenges facing many households.”

The report is available to read on the UK Energy Research Centre website.

Published: 16 January 2019

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