NEA Cymru calls for new focus on warm and healthy homes  

Released: 10 February 2016

Record numbers of delegates will this week come together to focus on how the next Welsh Government can tackle Wales’s cold homes crisis.

The “Warmer and Healthier Homes for All” conference taking place on Thursday 11 February 2016 at Cardiff City Hall has been organised by fuel poverty charity NEA Cymru, in partnership with the gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities.

Carole Morgan-Jones, Director, NEA Cymru: “I am delighted so many delegates are attending this year’s conference.  The conference comes at a crucial time when we look ahead to the National Assembly for Wales elections in May and discuss the key challenges and opportunities for the next Welsh Government to tackle our cold homes crisis.

In the 21st Century, no one in Wales should have to endure the misery and suffering caused by living in a cold home but sadly, we know that nearly a third of households in Wales cannot afford to keep their homes warm at an affordable cost.  Wales, along with the rest of the UK, is facing a fuel poverty crisis and simply not enough money is being earmarked to invest in making our homes more energy efficient.”

Mark Oliver, Director of Business Services, Wales & West Utilities:  “NEA is a key partner for us, and we’re proud to be sponsoring the Wales conference this year.  We are committed to helping our customers keep warm at a reasonable cost, and look after those most in need. Our Warm Home Assistance scheme has connected more than 11,000 homes to the gas network – but we know there is more to do. We’ll support more than 12,500 new gas connections by 2021 where it’s a cost effective solution – saving each family as much as £700 per year.”

With two years to go to the Welsh Government’s target of ending fuel poverty for all households in Wales, the conference will be taking place against a background of a shocking rise in excess winter deaths and increasing numbers of pre-payment meters being installed in Wales to recover debt owed.

The Wales conference will bring together representatives from a diverse range of organisations and sectors in Wales including the private, commercial, health and voluntary sectors to debate and explore the key actions needed to create warmer and healthier homes for people in Wales.  The conference will also provide an opportunity for delegates to hear about the progress being made in tackling fuel poverty across the different nations of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Notes to Editors:

  1. For all enquiries, please contact Carole Morgan-Jones Tel 029 2022 9322 / 07720591403
  2. NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth. For further details visit nea.org.uk
  3. Fuel poverty results from a combination of factors: low household income; energy prices; and inadequate heating and insulation standards. The consequences of fuel poverty range from psychological distress, social isolation and physical discomfort to illness and, in the most extreme cases, premature death
  4. In Wales, fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort. Almost 1 in 3 (30%) of households in Wales were living in fuel poverty in 2012, equating to 386,000 homes. 328,000 of these are believed to be vulnerable households (containing a child, older person, or someone who is disabled or has a long-term illness). http://wales.gov.uk/docs/caecd/research/130430-wales-fuel-poverty-projection-tool-2011-12-report-en.pdf
  5. Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.
  6. The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.
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