The Southend West MP has pledged to support National Energy Action’s campaign to end the misery of cold homes this winter. The Warm and Safe Homes campaign aims to highlight the desperate and unsafe coping strategies being adopted across the UK due to fuel poverty. The most recent Excess Winter Death figures have just been released and show that 3,746 in the East of England died needlessly of the cold last winter, an increase of 21.3% on last year.. The charity says much more can be done to end fuel poverty and ‘preventable’ excess winter deaths and ill health.
New evidence provided by frontline workers to fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA), has revealed the top 10 unsafe fuel poverty coping strategies being used to survive winter. The regular use of older, dangerous or un-serviced heating appliances is common-place, despite being potentially fatal or leading to heightened risks for nearby neighbours as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning or in extreme situations, fires and explosions. People struggling to heat their homes are also spending their days in heated spaces such as libraries, cafes or even A&E to avoid the cold.
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of National Energy Action commented: “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just released the number of excess winter deaths in England for last winter. Sadly, the statistics have jumped for the second year in a row. Behind those figures will be countless other depressing and dangerous ways in which people try to fend off the effects of living in a cold home. We all know that people regularly cut back on their energy use and rely on food banks to get by during winter. But in a modern country like Britain people are even barbequing in sinks, going to bed early to keep warm and permanently using candles for lighting. Frontline workers have also told us they regularly see dangerous appliances being used, ventilation blocked off and people spending days in A&E and libraries just to keep warm. Further evidence from energy suppliers highlights that over 150,000 cases of energy theft were uncovered last year, many of those causing death or major injury, not just to the culprits but innocent neighbours and passers-by.”
To learn more about the plan and the Warm and Safe Homes Campaign visit www.nea.org.uk