Investment call for energy efficient homes
With tens of thousands of older people dying prematurely every winter, and more than a million older people unable to afford to adequately heat their homes, Age UK Merton has called on local MP Siobhain McDonagh to join its campaign for warm homes.
As part of Cold Homes Week organised by the Energy Bill Revolution alliance, of which Age UK nationally is a leading member, the charity is calling on the government to commit to a major programme of investment to make millions of homes much more energy efficient.
Such energy efficiency improvements would not only result in warmer homes and lower bills, but could lift nine out of ten homes out of fuel poverty.
Cold homes are a major contributing factor in the staggeringly high number of excess winter deaths that occur in this country every year. Last winter there were 28,500 excess deaths in the over 65 age group – a 29% rise on the year before. The charity is warning that many of these deaths could be prevented if everyone lived in a warm home.
Peter Bird, Information & Advice Manager of Age UK Merton, said: "We are extremely grateful to Siobhain McDonagh for coming along and showing support for our campaign for warm homes. With so many older people suffering during the winter, it’s more important than ever to protect them from cold weather and relentless energy price hikes."
During its annual Spread the Warmth Campaign, Age UK and its local and national partners are working hard to help older people keep warm and well in a number of ways, including through winter benefit checks and handyperson services.
They provide hot nutritious meals at local lunch clubs as well as home visits and regular friendly contact through befriending services for those who may feel isolated. Age Uk also offers information and advice 365 days a year and older people and their families can call Age Uk free on 0800 169 65 65.
February 20, 2014