100,000 of the UK’s most vulnerable people could die from living in a cold home by 2030, a new report warns today.
A new report from National Energy Action (NEA) – A Manifesto For Warmth – warns that a toxic combination of unaffordable energy prices, low incomes and poor quality housing have resulted in poorer households being unable to adequately heat their homes.
Government figures show that 4.5 million households in the UK struggle to keep warm in their own homes, potentially resulting in poor health and an ever-increasing strain on the National Health Service (NHS).
Without urgent action to support low-income families struggling to pay energy bills, the NHS could be left in the position of having to find a further £22bn to treat cold related illnesses.
The report also highlights how the Treasury will make over £28bn from energy taxes over the next ten years, which the NEA say could be used to help improve the energy efficiency of two million homes by 2020.
Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of National Energy Action, said: “Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is a wakeup call on the need to end the cost and suffering caused by cold homes.
“In our Manifesto for Warmth, we estimate that 100,000 people – more than would fill Wembley Stadium – are likely to die because they can’t afford to heat their homes. Beyond needless deaths, we highlight that the NHS may also have to foot a staggering bill to treat cold related illnesses.
“New legislation requires future governments to improve the properties of people in fuel poverty to a minimum energy efficiency standard by 2030. However, we clearly need the next Government to invest the money required to halt this tragedy in a quicker timescale.
“There are no excuses; the Treasury will make over £28bn from domestic energy consumers in the next 10 years and alongside the existing public infrastructure budget, there is more than enough funds to radically improve the energy efficiency of 2 million low income homes by 2020 and end the suffering caused by fuel poverty within 10 years.
“Within our report we show how meeting this goal could be achieved. We now want all parties to commit to ending the cost and suffering caused by fuel poverty once and for all”.
NEA’s report is published ahead of today’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, when supporters of the charity will host a series of events aimed at highlighting the issues faced by fuel poor households.
For more details visit http://www.actionforwarmhomes.uk/