§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many, and what proportion, of households living in fuel poverty have included a person aged 80 or over in each year since 1997. 
§ Mr. Wilson
The Government published "The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 1st Annual Progress Report" on 4 March 2003. This showed that the number of households in fuel poverty in the UK is estimated to have fallen from about 5.5 million in 1996 to about 3 million in 2001.
Information is available for persons aged 75 or more in fuel poverty. The available information for England is set out in the following table.
Number of percentage of households including persons aged 75 or more in fuel poverty in Engaland Number of households (millions) Percentage 1996 Oldest person in household aged 75 or more 1.0 24 Total fuel poor households 4.3 1998 Oldest person in household aged 75 or more 1.1 32 Total fuel poor households 3.3 2001 Oldest person in household aged 75 or more 0.6 32 Total fuel poor households 1.8
1. For England the main source of information is the five yearly English House Condition Survey (EHCS). The latest figures on fuel poverty from this survey relate to 2001. Figures for fuel poverty in 1998 have been produced from the Energy Follow Up Survey to the 1996 English House Condition Survey.
2. Fuel poverty is defined as when a household needs to spend more than 10 per cent. of its incoming (including housing benefit and income support for mortgage interest) on fuel in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime.