Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

ENERGY POVERTY

A unique deprivation

Energy Policy 130, 206–217 (2019)

Energy poverty is often defined as the inability to purchase sufficient energy for necessary amenities such as heating, cooling or refrigeration. As well-being indicators are being studied in more detail — with general indicators such as income being broken down into access to healthcare, employment, education and so on — the relationship between energy poverty and other kinds of deprivation must also be examined. Looking at the UK, Robert Marchand and colleagues at the University of Sheffield now demonstrate that energy poverty is indeed a distinct symptom of poverty and that tailored policies are needed to eliminate it.

The researchers used UK government fuel poverty data at the level of the ‘lower super output area’ (roughly 650 households) to extract the number of fuel-poor houses and regressed it to variables from the Index of Multiple Deprivations, which includes measures of income, employment, health, education, housing and living environment deprivation, and exposure to crime. They found that, overall, there is no statistically significant relationship between energy poverty and multi-indicator deprivation at the national level. However, they observed that the nature of the relationship varied significantly across the country, so they classified various local authorities on the basis of the strength and nature of the correlation. Altogether, they conclude that energy poverty, while weakly correlated with other deprivations in certain locations, is still a distinct type of poverty that needs concentrated research and policy development.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fouad Khan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Khan, F. A unique deprivation. Nat Energy 4, 351 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-019-0395-1

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing