NEA NI today launches Warm and Safe Homes Campaign

28 November 2018

 

NEA NI is today launching its Warm and Safe Homes Campaign to raise awareness of the issue of fuel poverty and its increased risk to health and safety. To launch the start of the campaign we gathered a number of stakeholders to raise awareness of the campaign and the importance of getting advice and preventing fuel poverty.

Across Northern Ireland, fuel poverty is blighting the lives of over 160,000 households – that’s 1 in four households affected. Furthermore, the most recent statistics revealed 640 excess winter deaths 2015-16. The World Health Organisation attributes 30% of these deaths to living in a cold home which means that you are almost 10 times more likely to die from a cold home than you are in a road traffic accident.

The Warm and Safe Homes Campaign raises awareness amongst both politicians and members of the public of the problem of fuel poverty and the action needed to be taken at a policy level; as well as the help and support available locally for those struggling to heat their homes.  The campaign will provide opportunities to learn more about fuel poverty and the help and assistance that is available from third sector organisations, energy suppliers, and government schemes across Northern Ireland.  The campaign will continue throughout winter and culminate on 28th Feb 2019 with Fuel Poverty Awareness Day.

SDLP Councillor Brian Heading, who has pledged his support for the campaign said: “Our much needed Affordable Warmth Programme is doing excellent work to tackle fuel poverty but the resource needs to be redoubled to eradicate the misery that cold homes has on our people.

Director of NEA, Pat Austin said: “Today, we are highlighting that living in a cold, damp, and unsafe home is simply not acceptable in today’s society.  Our campaign aims to bring home to politicians, health professionals and decision makers the adverse intolerable consequences of not addressing the issue – poorer physical and mental health, premature deaths, risks to personal safety and unnecessary misery and personal suffering.   However, the benefits of improving our homes to a warm and comfortable level are manifold and will also help to reduce health and social care costs for all.”

 

Notes to Editor

1.  For further information please contact: Pat Austin, Director or Lucy Cochrane, Policy & Campaigns Officer at NEA NI on 028 9023 9909.

2.  NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth. For further details visit http://www.nea.org.uk.

3.  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. The latest estimate is that there are 160,000 households living in fuel poverty, equivalent to 22% of households in Northern Ireland.

4.  Fuel poverty results from a combination of factors: low household income; unaffordable energy prices; and inadequate heating and insulation standards. The consequences of fuel poverty range from psychological distress, social isolation and physical discomfort to causing or exacerbating serious illness and, in the most extreme cases, to premature death.

 

From left to right: Lucy Cochrane NEA NI, Cllr Brian Heading SDLP, Conor Heaney Choice Housing, Pat Austin NEA NI, Jonathan Martindale Phoenix Natural Gas, Angela Gracey-Roger EST, Nichola MacDougall NEA NI, Hugh McVeigh NEA NI

Published on 28-11-2018
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