I have had very long debates on raising the cost of energy to reduce usage.
What raising the price does is make usage more efficient. And there are a lot of savings that can be made.
Also, we have social systems in place to help the very worse off in society. Pensioners get a winter payment, the unemployed, if they really cannot cope financially, get extra assistance, hard working families on low wages get Tax Credits. Worth remembering that the 'fuel poverty' formula was an arbitrary number, it was not based on research.
Tenants, in the private sector can always move if they cannot afford the place they live in, in fact, they will have to move. Social Housing is generally of higher thermal standards (I monitored a place with 4 people in it and it used less energy than the two of us, bigger house as well).
It is odd that a couple or 3 years ago there was a lot of noise about fuel poverty, since prices have not risen for a year or so, and in some cases dropped, it has all gone very quiet.
Just to put energy prices into perspective, I pay 18p/kWh for my day rate. A MacDonald's Big Mac has 1.1 MJ of energy in it, so 0.3 kWh and costs about 3 quid (just looked it up and it is £2.89). So that is £10/kWh.
So 5 times the cost.
Edit. I only looked at the energy content of the fat in a Big Mac. The total energy is 2,300 kJ, so this makes it half the price, still, that is 2.89 [£] / (2.3 [MJ] / 3.6 [conversion factor) = £4.52/kWh
I was way off first time around (have edited it anyway as I missed typing the 0).
Edited by SteamyTea, 24 June 2015 - 01:16 PM.