Fuel Poverty and Health
Health impacts caused by cold homes predominantly relate to cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Low temperatures also diminish resistance to infection and encourage damp and mould growth in the home. Cold indoor conditions have also been linked to poor mental health resulting from anxiety and stress. Social isolation can be exacerbated where the home does not present a welcoming environment and there is evidence that cold homes can reduce educational attainment. Advice and support and practical heating and insulation improvements can help address all of these problems.
The recognised benefits of acting to end fuel poverty in a local area include: reductions in bills and energy arrears which can increase spending within poorer communities; better living conditions and significant positive direct impacts on public health and fewer premature winter deaths; reductions in bills can lead to less stress and better mental health for occupants; local employment from a more buoyant energy efficiency industry will create more demand for local low and medium skilled labour and better local air quality.Published on 03-11-2015