Fuel Poverty

What is Fuel Poverty?

This winter, one in seven UK households will suffer from fuel poverty, unable to afford to heat their homes to keep warm and healthy. Often, it’s those with the least money who have no choice but to live in homes that are difficult and expensive to heat. This is a national injustice!

Cold homes cause or make worse a range of serious health conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, bronchitis, and asthma. Fuel poverty also impacts mental health and is a known risk factor for suicide.

Children who are without a warm, quiet place to do their homework can fall behind at school. Lack of hot water can lead to poor personal care, which might result in bullying and social isolation. Sometimes they may spend hours alone in bed to keep warm!

The impact on society is significant, too. Health services spend 1.3bn each year in England, treating illness caused by cold homes. Twenty percent of the UK’s carbon emissions are from poorly insulated houses.

The impact: Every year around 10,000 people die as a result of living in a cold home.

Fuel poverty is not inevitable. It’s possible to use the same systems that created the problem to build a society where everyone gets to live in a warm home. Providing financial support to help struggling households improve the heating and insulation of their properties would make their homes easier and cheaper to heat, as well as reduce carbon emissions.

Vulnerable people can be helped to navigate the complex energy market, where they are often unfairly disadvantaged by policies and practices. Welfare systems can be redesigned to help release more people from the grip of poverty.
If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, you might be able to take advantage of certain benefits, grants, and help offered by the government and energy suppliers. More information here: https://togethernetwork.org.uk/uploads/shared/Energy-bills-advice.pdf