Dawn Butler MP is backing #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay which seeks to bring attention to all those living in fuel poverty and finding themselves unable to meet their energy bills.
Shocking data has revealed that in Brent alone 120 people have died due to exposure to cold. This is a 100% increase in the number of excess winter deaths compared to the previous recorded year.
The fuel-poverty charity, National Energy Action, which is behind #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay has also today released new figures showing 4,200 excess winter deaths in London last winter, with 1,260 vulnerable people dying as a direct result of not being able to heat their homes adequately.
National Energy Action is calling on the UK Government to provide central investment to dramatically improve energy efficiency in the least efficient homes and for local councils to do all they can to enforce housing standards.
Dawn Butler, Member of Parliament for Brent Central comments:
“It is an absolute scandal that 120 people in Brent have lost their lives prematurely for no reason other than that they were cold and, in many cases, unable to heat their homes. Others have also had to make that tragic choice between deciding whether to heat or eat.”
“The Tory Government needs to take urgent action to end this national scandal under their watch.”
“That is why the Labour Party are committed to fixing our broken energy market and reforming the system. We will cap energy bills saving households at least £270 per year. We will insulate four million homes as an infrastructure priority to help those who suffer in cold homes each winter.”
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of National Energy Action comments:
“Everybody has the right to live in a warm and safe home but tragically, many people died needlessly last winter because of cold homes. Living in a cold damp home can also lead to extremely poor health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as young children, older people, and those with long term sickness and disabilities. With fuel bills set to rise again, without urgent local and national action we are worried the same will keep happening each winter. As well as needless deaths and misery, this would continue to place a huge strain on our already stretched health services.”
“Despite the continued squeeze on resources locally, using current enforcement powers, their wider strategic responsibilities and place-based knowledge; local authorities are well placed to take action against landlords who do not meet statutory energy efficiency requirements or minimum housing safety standards. NEA is also calling for the introduction if a new national Clean Growth Fuel Poverty Challenge Fund, providing necessary central investment to tackle the cold homes crisis once and for all. As well as helping the poorest and most vulnerable to afford to live in a warm, dry home this would also support small business growth in the region, achieve major carbon emissions reductions, improve local air quality and reduce health and social care costs”.
If you or someone you know is having trouble paying for gas or electricity, make sure to get help and advice from National Energy Action at https://www.nea.org.uk/advice/