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Online tool finds fuel poverty 'hot spots'

A new online tool for pinpointing England's 'hot spots' of fuel poverty has been launched by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the University of Bristol.The so-called Fuel Poverty Indicator (FPI) highlights those areas most affected by fuel poverty - defined as expensive-to-heat abodes with badly insulation, high fuel costs and low income.Advocates of the tool say the FPI can predict the number and proportion of households in fuel poverty for every small area in England.Areas with the worst fuel poverty are in London, West Midlands and Greater Manchester, as well as more remote rural areas such as Devon and Cornwall, East Anglia, Cumbria and Durham.William Baker, CSE's senior researcher and FPI project manager, said: "We believe the new fuel poverty indicator will help organisations pinpoint and tackle the misery of cold, damp homes. "The indicator shows at a really local level where the worst fuel poverty problems are; in some areas one in ten households." Lord Truscott, parliamentary undersecretary of state for energy, welcomed the government-funded project."The new fuel poverty indicator will be indispensable in helping understand which areas of England are worst affected by fuel poverty," he said.The FPI is being launched at the DTI conference centre in London this morning.

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