Fuel poverty and subjective wellbeing

Sefa Awaworyi Churchill, Russell Smyth, Lisa Farrell

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141 Citations (Scopus)


We use 13 waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to examine the effect of fuel poverty on subjective wellbeing (SWB) in Australia. We find that being in fuel poverty lowers SWB. When we instrument for fuel poverty using electricity and gas prices, we find that a standard deviation increase in fuel poverty is associated with declines of 0.168–0.458 standard deviations in SWB, depending on how fuel poverty is measured. The general conclusion that fuel poverty lowers SWB is robust to alternative ways of measuring fuel poverty, a suite of estimation approaches and other sensitivity checks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104650
Number of pages16
JournalEnergy Economics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Energy poverty
  • Fuel poverty
  • Life satisfaction
  • Wellbeing

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