Charities warn more than a million in the UK live in 'appliance poverty'

Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports on the new research impacting peoples' health, finances, and even safety

A coalition of charities is warning that more than a million people in the UK are now living without at least one major household appliance.

A new report seen by ITV News says the cost of living crisis shows more households are in what charities are calling “appliance poverty” and don’t have washing machines, fridges, or cookers.

The research suggests there are big impacts on peoples’ finances, health, and even safety.

For millions, these appliances are part of everyday life - but for many, doing without has become an even bigger part of every day life in this cost of living crisis.

We spoke to Sue, a pensioner in Brentwood, Essex, who lived without a cooker until she managed to get a refurbished model with the help of a local charity.

She told us: "If you haven’t got them and haven’t got the money you are in a corner, aren’t you?

"If you can’t afford a weeks shopping bill, where on earth do you think you are going to be looking for £200 or £300 for a new appliance?"

New research given to ITV News by Pro Bono Economics shows 1.2 million people in the UK live without at least one major appliance.

Average costs of household electricals have been rising - washing machine: £300, fridge: £360, cooker: £380.

Sue, a pensioner from Essex, lived without a cooker until she managed to get a refurbished model with the help of a local charity.

Many of those struggling to pay use high-cost credit, typically adding around £140 to the price.

Charity researchers say being without major appliances can lead to poorer diets, worse health, anxiety, and shame. 

In Essex, Peter Everett is chief executive of the Lighthouse project, which aims to provide affordable refurbished appliances to those on low incomes.

He told ITV News: "We are seeing more people not being able to buy new appliance and looking for alternatives because their energy bills have gone up, because their food bills have gone up, because their mortgages have gone up".

In a society full of modern technology, something far more old-fashioned is affecting many in the UK - poverty. 

Need help?For those struggling to afford basic appliances, help is available. 

  • The charity Turn2us has a list of organisations that offer assistance at

  • The Family Fund has helped low income households that include a disabled or seriously ill child is reachable on 01904 550055 or at

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