Birmingham constituencies dominate fuel poverty standings

Statistics show Second City residents are suffering more than anywhere else in the country

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New figures have revealed an area of Birmingham is enduring the worst level of fuel poverty in the country.

Analysis across parliamentary constituencies by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition shows that, as fuel prices soar, tens of thousands of people across the region are stuck in cold homes.

Nowhere is the situation more bleak than in Hodge Hill where, as of April 1, some 23,041 households, which equates to 54.5 per cent, are in fuel poverty. This is in comparison to 11,575 (27.4 per cent) in 2019.

Bleak reading for Birmingham

Staggeringly, six Birmingham constituencies are among the top 13 across England, which has 6.3 million homes in fuel poverty.

Yardley comes sixth in the table with 20,712 properties (46.7 per cent), which is almost double the figure of three years ago.

Also in the top ten is ninth-placed Ladywood, which has figures of 23,429 (46 per cent) and, again, is almost double the rate of three years earlier.

Pensioners protest over rising fuel prices at a demonstration outside Downing Street. Picture: Guy Smallman/Getty Images.Pensioners protest over rising fuel prices at a demonstration outside Downing Street. Picture: Guy Smallman/Getty Images.
Pensioners protest over rising fuel prices at a demonstration outside Downing Street. Picture: Guy Smallman/Getty Images.

The alarming figures come as homes across the West Midlands saw average energy bills rise by more than 50 per cent after Ofgem’s new price cap came into effect.

Families are usually considered to be in fuel poverty if a household needs to spend more than ten per cent of its income on fuel.

It is also sometimes defined as a family for which, once bills are paid, the amount they have left to spend places them below the official poverty line.

Continuing the grim reading from the table, Erdington is 11th with 19,918 households (45.4 per cent), Perry Barr 12th with 18,409 (45.3 per cent) and Hall Green 13th with 19,010 (45.2 per cent).

The West Midlands dominates the top 20, as Wolverhampton South East (fourth), Warley (eighth), Wolverhampton North East (18th), Walsall South (19th) and Walsall North (20th) all feature.

Overall across England, the ten per cent of constituencies most affected by fuel poverty are mainly urban areas represented by Labour MPs.

However, including Northfield, Tory MPs represent more than 178,000 households which are in fuel poverty.

As a result of the research, the coalition has launched a campaign urging people in fuel poverty to contact their MP on Twitter, whilst a petition has also been launched by National Energy Action. Visit https://actionstorm.org/petitions/energycrisis

What does the End Fuel Poverty Coalition say about the situation?

A spokesman said: “Constituents will rightly be asking what MPs are doing to help end fuel poverty and the energy bills crisis gripping the country.

“End Fuel Poverty Coalition members have called for urgent help for households in fuel poverty now, combined with a long-term plan to improve energy efficiency of our homes and investment in a sustainable, renewable-led energy mix.

The coalition has demanded urgent action to tackle the crisis.The coalition has demanded urgent action to tackle the crisis.
The coalition has demanded urgent action to tackle the crisis.

“Sadly, none of these things were delivered in the recent Spring Statement and the Chancellor has once again ignored those in fuel poverty – including the 14,000 homes in his own constituency.

“MPs must demand Rishi Sunak comes back to Parliament at the earliest opportunity and sets out how the Government will help those who will continue to suffer.”

The coalition says retrofitting homes would cut energy bills by more than 40 per cent.

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