Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Supporting the Warm Homes Campaign 2010

I am backing the National Energy Action’s Warm Homes Campaign 2010 which is stressing that a national energy efficiency drive is vital in combating rising levels of fuel poverty.

The support comes after recent Government statistics revealed that the numbers of households in fuel poverty is continuing to escalate, with NEA estimating that the figure in England and Wales has reached over 4.1 million.

In Hyndburn fuel poverty levels are high with poor levels of insulation and 39% of homes not meeting the Decent Homes Standard. In the private rented sector the statistics are chronic with many poor people, familes and particularly children facing freezing conditions in costly and inadequate housing where incomes do not allow for energy saving measures.

This is a hugely imporant issue to me.

The Warm Homes Campaign highlights that there are still millions of people who are simply struggling to keep their homes warm and protect their families from the ill effects of the cold. Fuel-poor households experience a number of detrimental health impacts and reductions in general wellbeing as a result of cold, damp living conditions. Whilst this is unacceptable, the campaign also demonstrates how help is available. It also underlines how important it is that future government schemes are able to target support for the most vulnerable households effectively.

The most important message this year is that there is help out there for vulnerable households. I urge everyone to contact the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 to get help and advice on staying warm in their home this winter without the fear of fuel debt and ill health.

NEA chief executive Jenny Saunders said:
“This campaign plays a vital role in ensuring members of the public, local politicians and MPs understand this link between energy efficiency and fuel poverty. By providing practical advice to local community groups and taking MPs to visit their constituents at home and hear first hand about how they’ve benefitted from energy efficiency initiatives, we hope to help lift other families out of fuel poverty. I am delighted so many MPs have taken this opportunity.”

1. The NEA’s Warm Homes Campaign 2010 press pack is available on the NEA Website. Click here.
2. Warm Homes Campaign is a national campaign organised by fuel poverty charities National Energy Action (NEA) and Energy Action Scotland (EAS), and is sponsored in 2010 by DECC (England only)and E.ON.
3. The campaign will run from 18th November to 3rd December 2010, with politicians visiting constituents who have benefited from energy efficiency grant schemes.
4. Warm Homes Campaign aims to raise awareness of the problem of fuel poverty and the various grants and schemes that are available to vulnerable households struggling to heat their homes.
5. NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. For further details, visit http://www.nea.org.uk/
6. Fuel poverty is defined as when a household is required to spend more than ten per cent of its income after housing costs on total fuel use.
7. DECC figures for 2008 have shown that fuel poverty increased significantly from 2007 to 2008, from 2.8 million to 3.3 million households in England alone and puts the figures for the whole of the UK at 4.5 million. NEA estimates that as of 2010, more than 5.4 million UK households are considered to be in fuel poverty. NEA estimates there are currently 320,000 fuel poor households in Wales, equivalent to 1 in 4 households.
8. Current grant programmes are:
• Warm Front in England (0800 408 2095) http://www.warmfront.co.uk/
• The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) in Wales (0800 316 2815) http://www.heeswales.co.uk/
9. E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating and distributing electricity, and retailing power and gas - and is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. They employ more than 15,000 people in the UK and more than 88,000 worldwide.
10. E.ON's retail business is a leading energy supplier in the UK with around 5.3 million electricity and gas customers, covering domestic, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and industrial. E.ON also offers central heating and boiler care.
For details on the Warm Homes Campaign and MPs’ activities around the country, contact Lesley Tudor-Snodin, NEA Press Officer, on 0191 261 5677 or LTS@nea.org.uk
For feature ideas and a comprehensive list of information please download the Warm Homes Campaign 2010 Press Pack.