The Queen

Image by SouthEastern Star via Flickr

According to a blog post by David Blair at the FT, rising energy prices and a pay-freeze mean the Queen is coming close to sinking below the fuel poverty line.

Fuel poverty is when a household spends over 10% of its income on its energy bills, and royal accounts show that the Queen’s gas and electricity bill was a hefty £2.2 million last year, which is 6.9% of the monarchy’s income from the government.

So another gas and electricity price rise like the ones we’ve seen in recent months could push the Queen into fuel poverty.

After hearing that, you’re probably thinking one of two things:

  1. Energy really is too expensive if even the Royals are close to fuel poverty.
  2. There’s something wrong with the way fuel poverty is calculated if one of the richest families in the country is close to being classed as fuel poor.

Recently, Professor John Hills from the London School of Economics has looked at how we define fuel poverty. He has proposed a new definition, which would designate people as being in fuel poverty if their income is puts them below the overall poverty line when you deduct the cost of keeping their home acceptably warm.

This new definition would mean the Queen couldn’t be classified as fuel poor, because while her energy bills are high, her income is too.

What do you think of the new definition? Is it fairer?