I issued the following press release on 24.11.2006
MP Backs National Campaign For Warm Homes
Lynne Jones MP is backing a national campaign that aims to highlight the plight of households who are concerned about being able to heat their homes to adequate levels this winter.
The Warm Homes Campaign is the annual winter campaign organised by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA). It runs through November and is organised in association with Powergen, part of E.ON UK, and supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (in England).
The campaign aims to cut the number of excess winter deaths and reduce cold-related illnesses by raising awareness of the help available to people who cannot afford to heat their homes in winter.
Lynne Jones, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said “In this day and age, no one should have to spend the winter without affordable heat for their home and with the prospect of energy prices remaining higher than they have been, it is more important than ever to help people make their homes more energy efficient. In recent years we have seen an average of 68 excess winter deaths linked to cold homes every year in my consistency alone and I am concerned that, this year, increased energy prices could push that figure even higher.”
One in six UK households are unable to affordably heat their homes. Cold homes affect people’s health and wellbeing and are linked to cardiovascular illnesses such as heart disease and strokes, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis. Elderly people, families with young children, people with disabilities and others on low incomes are especially at risk from the dangers of cold homes.
Anyone who is worried about their winter fuel bill should call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336699 for information and advice on keeping warm in winter. Or for more information about grants available to keep your home warm, call freephone 0800 3166011 and quote MK 550.
Notes to the Editor
1. NEA is the national charity that tackles the heating and insulation problems of low-income households through improved energy efficiency. Fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend more than 10% of household income on fuel costs. The Warm Homes Campaign is NEA's annual campaign targeted at the public and the country's decision makers to raise awareness of fuel poverty and the benefits of improved energy efficiency.
2. The Warm Homes Campaign is organised by NEA and Energy Action Scotland in association with energy supplier Powergen, part of E.ON UK, and supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England.
3. As part of the Warm Homes Campaign, NEA organises activities for Members of Parliament throughout England and Assembly Members in Wales. In Scotland, NEA works with Energy Action Scotland, who are co-ordinating visits for Members of the Scottish Parliament and Westminster MPs. Between Friday 24 November and Monday 4 December 2006 a range of seminars, events and activities, arranged by NEA and its member organisations, will involve people on low incomes, energy companies, local authorities and voluntary sector and consumer organisations.
4. Excess winter mortality is defined by the Office for National Statistics as the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding autumn (August to November) and the following summer (April to July).
5. Warm Front in England and the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales are the primary source of grants for energy efficiency improvements for households on low incomes. Warm Front and HEES Wales offer the prospect of lower bills and increased warmth for the elderly, people with disabilities, lone-parent families and other vulnerable households. For more information about Warm Front call freephone 0800 3166011 and quote MK 550. This scheme only covers owner-occupiers and private sector tenants. For more information about HEES Wales call freephone 0800 316 2815.
For a Warm Homes Campaign press pack or details on MPs' activities around the country, contact David Bootle, NEA Press Officer, on 0191 261 5677 or email@example.com
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