Based on the 2016 House Condition Survey (HCS), Northern Ireland has a rate of fuel poverty at 22%. It is also estimated that there are approximately 43,800 households in extreme fuel poverty which means they need to spend over 15% of their total income to heat their homes. Additionally, one in five households in Northern Ireland are living in relative poverty and 19% of working age adults in the private rented sector spend more than a third of their income on housing.
The cold kills, and between August 2017 — July 2018 there were 1,500 excess winter deaths in Northern Ireland. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a third of these deaths are directly attributable to living in cold damp homes.
Additionally, and unique to Northern Ireland, 68% of all households are reliant on home heating oil, a non-regulated fuel.
Furthermore, we expect that due to Brexit, the falling pound and recent volatility in energy costs will cause further impacts and put severe hardship on individuals and families.
We are pleased to be taking part in the next stage of the NISEP review process. NEA NI has long been an advocate for the NISEP and indeed established the Energy Justice Campaign to ensure the retention of NISEP until an alternative programme was fully in place.
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