In our second feature on fuel poverty issues this report might have some moderately good news – but it still feels very cold in many rural homes!

Just 40 years ago, ice used to form on the inside of windows, central heating was for the lucky few, most homes had only a few lightbulbs and the idea of a conservatory was an alien one.

But today’s homes, according to a government-commissioned report showing the changes in how the UK heats and powers its homes, are kept 4C warmer on average than they were in 1970, have more than 30 lightbulbs and an array of energy-guzzling appliances like 40-inch TVs that would have been unimaginable then. But, possibly because far more of us live alone or in small households now, we use 18% less energy per household than we did 40 years ago and we pay about £200 less per household each year.

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