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Underrepresenting neighbourhood vulnerabilities? The measurement of fuel poverty in England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caitlin Robinson



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications Ltd., 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The vulnerabilities that enhance the likelihood of a household falling into fuel poverty are increasinglyrecognised as highly multidimensional and geographical. However, the most establishedindicators used to measure fuel poverty are primarily based upon expenditure. This paperseeks to understand to what extent expenditure-based indicators succeed in representingwider socio-spatial vulnerabilities that manifest in particular locales. Our analysis focuses uponEngland, where a policy review in 2012 led to the replacement of a 10% indicator with alow-income high-cost indicator. Fuel poverty estimates are scrutinized at a neighbourhoodscale, considering their relationship with a range of socio-economic, demographic and sociotechnicalcharacteristics. Place-based effects upon these relationships that arise from the widercontext within which each neighbourhood sits are also accounted for using geographicallyweighted regression. The findings suggest that a ‘one-size fits all’ expenditure-based indicatoris unlikely to capture the heterogeneous socio-spatial vulnerabilities that enhance the likelihoodof fuel poverty experienced between different demographics and geographical contexts

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robinson C, Bouzarovski S, Lindley S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

Year: 2018

Volume: 50

Issue: 5

Pages: 1109-1127

Print publication date: 01/08/2018

Online publication date: 20/03/2018

Acceptance date: 26/01/2018

Date deposited: 28/05/2019

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0308518X18764121


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