In 2012, the number in fuel poverty was an estimated 2.28 million, which is 10.4% of all English households, down from 2.39 million in 2011. However, this increased during 2013, up to 2.33 million.
The average fuel poverty gap – the difference between being in fuel poverty and not being fuel poor – also fell between 2011 and 202, from £445 to £443.
The slight drop in the number of households in fuel poverty has been attributed “to income increases” for those in fuel poverty.
Private tenants are the most likely to be fuel poor, with owner occupiers being the least likely. This has remained the case since 2003.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “The government should be gravely concerned that 2.33 million households will be in fuel poverty this year.
“It is easy to forget when the sun is shining, but the reality for many, particularly in the colder months, is that horrifically cold homes, low incomes and high energy prices are trapping people into fuel poverty.”
She added: “People should not have to endure this standard of living in the 21st century. “
Climate change minister Greg Barker welcomed the “modest fall” in the number of people in fuel poverty.
He said: “This welcome progress shows that while we can’t control volatile energy prices we can continue to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock.
“The Coalition Government is doing everything it can to help hard-pressed families keep their energy bills down.
“The Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal have supported over 372,000 low income and vulnerable households.
“Last winter the Warm Home Discount provided over 1.2 million of the lowest income pensioners with £135 off their electricity bills while our on average £50 reduction in bills will provide further help.”