Fuel Poverty Awareness Day: 15 February 2019
15 February 2019
National Energy Action, the leading fuel poverty charity, launched our Warm and Safe Homes (WASH) campaign in October, which has been raising awareness of fuel poverty and calling on our supporters to speak to their elected representatives to move the problem of fuel poverty up the political agenda.
The WASH campaign culminates today with Fuel Poverty Awareness Day which will be celebrated across the UK and continues to highlight both the problems faced by those struggling to keep warm in their homes and the excellent work being undertaken to tackle the issue.
Northern Ireland faces a unique set of circumstances, with over 68% of households reliant on home heating oil, a non-regulated fuel and we also have a higher dependency on welfare benefits. Additionally, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) released the latest NI Excess Winter Deaths figures which revealed an additional 1,500 deaths in 2017-18. The World Health Organisation attributes 30% of these deaths to living in cold damp homes, deaths which are therefore preventable and premature.
NEA continues to call for a new Fuel Poverty Strategy supported by further regional investment to dramatically improve energy efficiency in the least efficient homes with attention given to the private rented sector. We also call for local councils to ensure improved energy efficiency is front and central within their community plans.
On Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, organisations throughout the country will be showing their support by holding events, issuing messages of support, and/or highlighting the issue on social media by using hashtag #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay.
- The 2016 Northern Ireland House Condition survey showed that 22% of households were living in fuel poverty in Northern Ireland;
- The private rented sector is the worst affected by fuel poverty with most recent figures at 26.3%;
- In 2017-18 there were 1,500 excess winter deaths with 30% attributable to living in a cold home;
- 68% of households in Northern Ireland are reliant on home heating oil; an unregulated fuel in terms of price and customer protection.
- Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is coordinated by NEA who have also developed resources to direct people to help and advice as part of day. These can be found on the NEA website www.nea.org.uk/northernireland and twitter page www.twitter.com/NEA_NIreland
- NEA Chairs the Fuel Poverty Coalition which has membership of 100 organisations across the voluntary, community, statutory and private sectors.