Vulnerable Londoners Cutting Back On Energy Use


The rising cost of energy, and how Londoners are coping, is the focus of a new report from the London Assembly Labour group.

68% of respondents have cut back on heating because of rising energy bills, 42% have cut back on lighting and 41% on other electrical use. Most concerned about energy are the over 65s, 63% of whom said they’d have to turn down the heating – particularly worrying as the cold affects older people more. Just as shockingly, 74% of disabled respondents said they’ve cut back on heating, and 75% of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic respondents have done the same. Over half of BAME Londoners are using less electricity, compared to a third of white Londoners.

When it comes to fuel poverty in London, government statistics from 2011 found 9.9% of all households were classified as being in fuel poverty. The worst borough was Barnet, with 12.6% of all households, but Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Sutton and Waltham Forest all come above the London average.

The new report was compiled from results of a survey, so respondents are clearly self-selecting – we can presume someone’s more likely to fill in such a survey if they’re having to choose between the gas bill and food than someone who’s whacking up the thermostat and basking in a Mediterranean indoor climate. But as this is an issue that disproportionately affects the poor, elderly and disabled, we should still listen to what they have to say.

As to solutions, Labour suggests ramping up the City Hall energy efficiency and insulation programmes, and giving more support for community energy co-operatives to try and break the monopoly of the main energy providers.

You can download the report from Murad Qureshi’s website.

Photo by Sam from the Londonist Flickr pool.

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  • Nom

    Do you not have proper standards regarding what you report? I.e. research based on properly representative polling rather than something one person can take over and over again?!

  • Tony Blair

    I filled out the “survey” 19 times! Yah, yah, yahpers

    • Rachel Holdsworth

      Bit like the way you’re leaving multiple comments now? (We can see IP addresses, you know.) And so presumably, if you did fill out the survey 19 times and you’ve diluted the real results, the percentages should be higher?

    • Rachel Holdsworth

      *chuckle* And, looking at said IP address, I’m sure your employers TfL would be fascinated to know what you’re doing on work time…

      • yawn

        Hate to burst your bubble but it was probably somebody using wifi at a Underground station…

        • Rachel Holdsworth

          Wouldn’t that be Virgin Media, rather than registered to TfL’s HQ in St James’s?

          • JockCabbie

            Bit unproffessional ain’t it all this. Bloggists should let the readers have there say whether you agree with there views or not in my view.

          • London-runner

            Yeah, what a hallmark of great journalism, attack your readers and don’t respect their privacy.

          • Rachel Holdsworth

            I can point you to a LOT of places where people disagree with me and call me all sorts of names. But pretending to be different people to imply stronger disagreement than there is? That’s called sockpuppeting and generally held to be bad form.

          • London-runner

            I think you’re assuming a lot, I work for an organisation (please don’t give it out) that shares a single ip across 600+ employees.

          • Rachel Holdsworth

            Thing is, I can see the stats for this article and if you’ll take my word for it, it’s one of our less popular ones for the day. The likelihood of two separate people posting on the same theme from within the same company within five minutes of each other (unless perhaps they’re mates at adjacent desks, perhaps?) is very small.

          • BPM

            You are completely missing the point. Even if what you claim were to be true, and it is doubtful, it should never be an excuse for any decent “journalist” to violate your reader’s privacy like that. It is shocking behaviour.

          • Rachel Holdsworth

            I do see your point, BPM, but only to a point. If these comments had been linked to social media accounts, used a real name, come from the IP of a small company or even a Disqus account where you can click on the username and see a comment history, I would never have ‘outed’ them. But they are standalone pseudonyms that can’t possibly lead to the identification of any individual.

          • sdgmgn

            Yes abd TFL has something like 20.000 employees!!! My husband used to be one of them!