Journal Article

Is Fuel Poverty in Ireland a Distinct Type of Deprivation

June 29, 2015

The Economic and Social Review, Vol. 46, No. 2, Summer, 2015, pp. 267-291

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In this paper, we draw on the Central Statistics Office SILC data for Ireland to ask whether fuel poverty is a distinctive type of deprivation that warrants a fundamentally different policy response than poverty in general. We examine the overlap between fuel poverty (based on three self-report items) and poverty in general – with a particular emphasis on the national indicator of basic deprivation which is used in the measurement of poverty for policy purposes in Ireland. We examine changes in the overlap between 2004 and 2011 and the risk factors for fuel poverty compared to those for deprivation more generally. The paper concludes, based on evidence from factor analysis and multinomial regression, that fuel poverty is better regarded as an aspect of low living standards rather than being a distinct dimension of deprivation.