Consumer Focus is committed to securing a better deal for off-gas consumers. This report is intended to support our work and that of our partners. It presents detailed information on the circumstances of off-gas consumers in England, Scotland and Wales, for example where they live, the type of homes they live in and their household characteristics.
In Britain, 3.9 million households do not have gas heating. Of these, over half a million have a gas supply but do not have gas heating, 1.3 million are in close proximity to the gas network while the remaining 2 million are fully off-grid with little prospect of gas connection. Households without gas heating are more likely to live in homes that are older, solid walled and have poor energy efficiency standards. They are more likely to live in rural areas, but many also live in urban areas, particularly in high rise flats.
Despite recent price increases, mains gas remains the lowest cost fuel. Households with oil, electric, solid fuel or LPG heating are more likely to be fuel poor than those with gas heating. This might be expected for electric and solid fuel heating consumers, given that they tend to be on lower incomes than those with gas heating. However, consumers with oil heating tend to be on higher incomes. The high cost of oil coupled with larger, solid walled and detached homes appears to push many better off oil consumers into fuel poverty.
A technical annex (PDF 3.1MB) is also available.