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Press Release


29 November 2007

Lynne Jones MP Backs National Campaign For Warm Homes

Lynne Jones 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 eaga, 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.


MPs, Members of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly Members around the country are supporting this year’s campaign.


Lynne Jones MP for Birmingham Selly Oak said: "I am pleased to be supporting the Warm Homes Campaign. Fuel poverty is a serious issue and it is vital to help people make their homes more energy efficient.  No one should have to spend the winter without affordable heat for their home and I want to see an end to fuel poverty in Birmingham and across the rest of the UK.”


Approximately 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. The elderly, families with young children, people with disabilities and others on low incomes are especially at risk from the dangers of cold homes.


There are an average 68 excess winter deaths linked to cold homes every year in my constituency of Birmingham Selly Oak.  This year, higher energy prices could push that figure even higher.


Jenny Saunders, NEA Chief Executive, said: “For millions of families and individuals, winter brings poor health, isolation, debt and worry. We believe that this is unacceptable. The Warm Homes Campaign aims to highlight the effects of fuel poverty and to offer positive and practical solutions to the problem.

“During the month of campaign activity we will be urging Government to recognise the effects escalating energy costs have had on fuel-poor households and provide extra resources to help lift people out of fuel poverty and protect them from any future increases in energy prices.”


Ashley Guise, Divisional Managing Director for eaga, said: “With winter deaths and poor health still being caused simply because people are living in cold and damp homes this is an extremely important campaign and eaga is only too happy to lend its support.   Making homes warmer, dryer and healthier changes lives for the better and for the long term.”


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 3166014.




Notes to the Editor


1.       NEA and Energy Action Scotland are the national charities that tackle the heating and insulation problems of low-income households through improved energy efficiency. Fuel poverty is defined as spending more than 10% of household income on fuel costs. The Warm Homes Campaign is NEA and Energy Action Scotland'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.  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, which is co-ordinating visits for Members of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish MPs. Between Friday 23 November and Monday 3 December 2007 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.


3.  eaga is the UK’s largest residential energy efficiency provider. The company is a leader in the provision of innovative and sustainable services, products and solutions that address the environmental, social and energy efficiency objectives of Government and the private sector both nationally and internationally.


4.  Working in partnership with central and local government eaga is positioned at the heart of policy-making and front-end delivery of social and environmental improvement programmes. eaga operates across the UK and in the Republic of Ireland, India and Canada employing over 3,500 people.


5.  eaga was established in Newcastle in 1990 to lead government funded efforts to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people living in cold, damp and energy inefficient homes across England. Since its inception, eaga has made a positive difference to over 5 million disadvantaged households across the UK, by installing energy efficiency measures.


6.  Warm Front in England is the primary source of grants for energy efficiency improvements for households on low incomes. Warm Front offers 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 3166014. This scheme only covers owner-occupiers and private sector tenants.





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