Fuel poverty and terminal illness

Understanding the extent of energy costs and fuel poverty at the end of life

End-of-life charity Marie Curie have commissioned CRSP to conduct research on the number of people in the UK with a terminal illness, who are in fuel poverty. The research aims to estimate the number of individuals living with terminal illness who experience fuel poverty, and the extent to which their energy bills rise following their diagnosis.

  • Approximately 90,000 people die in poverty each year and Marie Curie’s existing work has identified energy costs as a key additional cost.
  • UK energy prices have risen dramatically since 2022, placing more households at risk of fuel poverty. People affected by poor health are at increased risk of both being in a low-income household and having additional energy needs.
  • Household energy consumption can increase, due to those with terminal illness spending more time at home. The financial loss to someone with terminal illness is estimated at £16,000, comprising direct costs for home or residential care, travel to hospital and home adaptations, and indirect costs to keep one’s home warmer, coupled with loss of earnings.
  • Currently, there is no data on the extent of fuel poverty among people with terminal illness. Robust evidence is key to informing policy recommendations for policy changes that seek to make sure that people and households affected by terminal illness are able to maintain a decent standard of living.

Publication is planned for later this year.