The 3 key factors impacting on fuel poverty are the energy efficiency of the property, the cost of energy and the income of the household. A significant example of property to fall into this category is social housing equipped with electric heating. The result in such schemes is that those who can least afford it have the highest energy bills, and are thus fast-tracked into fuel poverty. It is estimated that over 4 million households in the UK are blighted by fuel poverty.
In Scotland / Wales / Northern Ireland, a household is defined as being in fuel poverty if more than 10% of net income is spent on fuel. Since 2014 in England, fuel poverty only applies to households where high fuel costs are combined with low incomes (this was politically expedient, as it halved the numbers in fuel poverty at a stroke).