Fuel Poverty Awareness Day
Today (Friday 27th November) is Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. This is an annual event set up by charity National Energy Action (NEA) to raise awareness of the issue of fuel poverty and the wide range of support available.
Fuel poverty is a nationwide issue, and affects 10.4% of all England homes. In Portsmouth, this rate is higher, at 10.8%. That’s around 10,000 homes that struggle to pay their energy bills. Some of these households might even have to make a choice between heating their home and feeding their families. 12,000 people die on average in the UK each year because of health conditions caused or worsened by living in a cold home.
This winter is going to be a hard one for everyone, but even more so for those living in fuel poverty. Covid-19 is combining with cold homes to accelerate and multiply these issues. These issues include:
- Financial difficulties caused by Covid-19 will make it even more difficult for people to pay their energy bills, and so are more likely to get into debt.
- Unemployment, working from home and lockdown means that people will be using more energy and could be spending more time in a cold home.
- Usual coping strategies, such as spending time in warm public areas like libraries, cafes and the homes of loved ones, will not be possible.
- People with respiratory and circulatory health conditions affected by cold weather are likely to be at a greater risk from Covid-19.
- An increased strain on mental health due to anxiety and stress.
Cold homes are preventable. Switched On Portsmouth have a wide range of support available to help keep everyone in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant safe and well in their home.
For free, impartial, advice give us a call on 0800 260 5907. Our friendly team of qualified advisors are here to help!
You can read about NEA’s campaign for Warm Safe Homes here.
By Anttonia Lindup