The upcoming increase in the energy price cap will hit households in the north west more than in any other English region, exacerbating regional fuel poverty inequalities, according to new analysis.
In its latest quarterly housing outlook report, the Resolution Foundation thinktank has assessed the impact of the price cap increase, which is due to come into force in October.
It pointed out that the hike will have more of an impact on those households who pay for their energy through a pre-payment meter, who will see their cap increase by £153 next month to £1,309. By contrast, the cap for the average household on a standard variable tariff will increase by £139 to £1,277.
The bigger size of the hike for pre-payment customers will have more of an impact in the north-west, where more households use such arrangements, than in any other region.
While 18 per cent of customers were on electricity pre-payment meters in the north-west, the proportion is lowest in the east of England, where it is just one in ten.
As a result, the foundation concludes, the rise in the price cap looks set to exacerbate existing regional inequalities. The north-west has the highest share of households living in fuel poverty in England (12 per cent) of any region, which compares to eight and nine per cent in the south east and east of England respectively.
According to government figures, published last week, the north west had the largest share of applications for the recently cancelled Green Homes Grant voucher schemes at 18 per cent. The region also accounted for a fifth of applications from low-income households for the scheme, more than any other region.