Understanding Fuel Poverty

The Challenge

Energy suppliers are obliged by the government to help combat fuel poverty by encouraging the take-up of energy efficiency practices. Whilst most companies have customer-specific information including energy consumption, it’s difficult to obtain information on how customers use their energy or how efficiently they do so. This makes it hard for companies to identify from their data alone, those customers that can benefit from energy efficiency measures.

The Approach

Combining customer information with a variety of Official Statistics provides energy companies with the means to identify areas likely to have problems with fuel efficiency. Data such as the Index of Multiple Deprivation (see map), Census data, Neighbourhood Statistics and benefits data from the Department of Work and Pensions provide geographic information on central heating uptake, benefits claimants and domestic income estimates. By including these data in a statistical model, it’s possible to identify areas at greatest risk of fuel poverty and where the take-up of efficiency measures is likely to be low.


The Value

By combining their own commercial information with Official Statistics, energy companies are able to identify those households who are more likely to have problems with fuel-efficiency and so can target their marketing campaigns more effectively. This helps reduce fuel poverty and enables the energy companies to most efficiently meet their Government-set targets.