|Fuel Poverty Awareness Day 2017
Yvonne Fovargue MP is supporting local charity Wigan & Leigh Citizens Advice Bureau and National Energy Action’s (NEA) Fuel Poverty Awareness Day by pledging to do more to ‘tackle cold homes’.
Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is a national campaign to highlight the problem of fuel poverty, which currently sees over four million households unable to afford the energy they need to stay warm and healthy in their homes. It is a particular problem for those in low incomes living in energy inefficient homes that are difficult and expensive to heat.
In the year 2014/15 there were 43,900 excess winter deaths – at least, 14,000 of these deaths are attributable to cold homes, and ill health caused by cold homes is an even bigger problem. According to the NEA, this is costing the NHS an estimated £1.36 billion each year.
Without proper interventions to tackle the cold home crisis, the NEA estimates in the next 15 years the cumulative effect will be 125,000 premature deaths as a result of living in cold homes; £950m of fuel debt which will not be spent in local economies; and £22billion spent by NHS in treating cold-related conditions.
Ms Fovargue joined Wigan & Leigh Citizens Advice Bureau staff at a pop up stall in Leigh Indoor Market (Fri, 17th Feb). The aim of the day is to create awareness of Fuel Poverty and its social and health impacts, with emphasis on the sick or disabled, the fuel poor, vulnerable and elderly, of measures that can be adopted in order to reduce energy costs. Advice on energy efficient practices that are affordable and practical will also be available.
Yvonne Fovargue MP said:
“We are the world’s 6th richest country and it is a travesty that people have to live in cold homes causing both physical and mental health issues, and often resulting in deaths.
“Living in a cold damp home can lead to extremely poor health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as older people, young children, and those with long term sickness and disabilities. Not only will it be causing misery for millions of people this winter, but also placing a huge strain on our already stretched health services. In the Wigan Borough alone over 12,000 households are believed to be in fuel poverty.”