A campaign is calling for more to be done to insulate homes in a bid to reduce fuel poverty and cut down on excess winter deaths.
In Lincolnshire alone, there were 540 excess winter deaths recorded in 2012, which are deaths over and above the average death rate during non-winter periods, mostly due to elderly people dying from being too cold.
The Cold Homes campaign is organised by the Energy Bill Revolution (EBR), an alliance of 170 major charities, businesses and organisations, who are calling for more action to be taken to improve energy efficiency in the one in five households currently living in fuel poverty – defined as anyone who spends more than 10 per cent of their income on energy to keep warm.
OFTEC, the trade body for the oil-fired heating industry, is urging residents across the county, regardless of which fuel they use to heat their homes to visit www.energybillrevolution.org or email their MP.
Some 25,000 households in the county rely on oil for their central heating. These homes are typically more rural properties with older, less efficient heating systems and poor insulation. Therefore, this often leads them to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating.
Michael Favell, an OFTEC registered technician from local heating company, Favell Heating Ltd, said: “Proportionally, more older people live in rural areas than in towns and are more likely to use oil for their central heating. They are also potentially more at risk of living in fuel poverty as their homes may lack sufficient insulation and rely on older, less efficient boilers. OFTEC are supporting several initiatives to help the elderly relying on oil to keep warm, including working with Age UK on an oil heating information guide.”
Mr Favell added: “By encouraging as many people as possible to take action by emailing their MP together, a long-term solution to the country’s high level of fuel poverty could be a step closer.”
The EBR has petitioned the Government to invest in better insulation for our leaky homes by asking for the money raised through carbon taxes to be used to provide better insulation grants, bringing nine out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty.This would also help to reduce the number of excess winter deaths which last year reached a national high of over 30,000.
For more information on how you can save money on heating oil, visit www.oilsave.org.uk