End Fuel Poverty Before The Winter

End Fuel Poverty Before The Winter

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Urgent action is needed now to prevent tens of thousands of needless deaths which could overwhelm the country this coming winter.

Public Health England have declared that there is “clear evidence on the links between cold temperatures and respiratory problems. Resistance to respiratory infections is lowered by cool temperatures and can increase the risk of respiratory illness." [i]

Therefore, being in fuel poverty puts households more at risk from the worst effects of Covid-19, but policy to end fuel poverty has been frozen for three years.

Should a future wave hit during cold weather, the impact could be catastrophic for individuals and our health services.

Energy use is rising as people stay at home more, incomes are being squeezed and improvements in energy efficiency of housing are on hold. This means the numbers in fuel poverty are set to soar.

We need the Government to take four urgent actions:

  1. Introduce Fuel Poverty Debt Relief (not deferral) so that fewer people have to choose between eating or heating.
  2. Rapid roll-out of large-scale energy efficiency programmes which would also deliver a green economic stimulus that is shovel ready (e.g. retrofitting of people’s homes and improved heating systems). [ii]
  3. Urgent delivery of government promises on tackling fuel poverty, such as extension of Warm Home Discount, introduction of the promised Home Upgrade Grants and social housing decarbonisation programme.
  4. Immediate steps to improve energy standards in the private rented sector, alongside improved security and affordability for private tenants.

For more information on the campaign visit the End Fuel Poverty Coalition website.

[i] PHE, 2014. Warm homes enable immune systems to better fight off viruses, improve the likelihood of people with viruses only suffering ‘mild’ symptoms and help improve the recovery process. See: Baker, Ambrose et. al.

[ii] The Government must confirm their manifesto pledge to invest £9.2 billion in building energy efficiency and bring forward £2.8 billion to invest in the next two years which can support 42,500 jobs across the country and help a million households save an average of £270 on their energy bills. 150,000 jobs could be supported to 2030.