The Government has commissioned Professor John Hills to carry out an independent review of the fuel poverty definition and target in England. The review team published its interim report in October 2011 and is due to publish its final report in January 2012.

Consumer Focus wanted to get a better understanding of consumers’ expenditure on fuel and how this affected our understanding of fuel poverty therefore commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University to investigate these issues further, particularly with respect to the relationship between consumers’ actual fuel expenditure and so-called ‘required fuel expenditure’.