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It might seem a bit strange that we’re starting to talk about affordable warmth in summer but this issue is one that needs to be talked about all year round, and action taken now could prevent problems once winter comes.
Fuel poverty affects 4.5 million households in the UK with the effects of cold homes now killing more people than road accidents, alcohol or drug abuse.
A household is in fuel poverty if they cannot afford to adequately heat their home. The need for heating during cold months will often trigger difficult decisions on whether to heat or eat.
There are three main things that cause fuel poverty. These are high costs of energy, low household incomes and inadequate heating and insulation in homes.
Living in a cold home can have a serious effect on your health, your quality of life and your wellbeing in general. In 2014/15, 27% more people died in England and Wales during winter compared to the non-winter months - that’s an estimated 43,900 excess winter deaths.
It’s estimated that 36,300 of these were people aged over 75 as older people are more likely to have existing medical conditions that are worsened by the cold. But fuel poverty doesn’t just affect older people.
Those living with a disability, older people, the unemployed, children and people who have a long-term health condition are affected more than most by fuel poverty - but regardless of age or vulnerability, if you’re spending more than 10% of your income on energy to keep your home warm – you are in fuel poverty.
Bromford has a number of teams who can offer you specialised coaching with things such as managing your money, finding work and using your heating systems effectively. If you’re a Bromford customer and are worried that you may be in fuel poverty speak to your housing manager or call us on 0330 1234 034.
Use the links below to find out more about some of the things that you can do avoid fuel poverty.
You can get involved in the conversation on Twitter by following @Bromford and searching #FuelPoverty
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