This week Age UK launched its annual Spread the Warmth campaign – which raises awareness of the danger of living in cold homes.
The charity is asking the public to lobby government to spend billions of pounds on improving badly insulated homes to help prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths.
We’re adding our voice to their appeal – and encouraging our staff, customers, industry partners and stockists to do likewise.
Age UK says this winter 24,000 older people could die because of the cold, and it says if the government spent the billions of pounds it raises in carbon taxes it could fund energy efficiency measures in at least nine million homes over the next 15 years.
Every year, around 1.2 million older people in England can’t afford to heat their homes, and tens of thousands become seriously ill as a result.
Cold related problems allow diseases such as flu to thrive. As a result the number of deaths caused by respiratory diseases rises sharply, as do deaths from cardiovascular disease. Even many falls and trips are put down to being too cold to walk safely.
The UK has one of the highest winter mortality rates in Europe – higher than even Sweden or Finland – and some of the worst levels of home energy efficiency in Europe.
This would not only protect the health of millions of older people during the cold months, but also:
• Cut household energy bills by an average of £400 a year
• Save some of the £1.36 billion that cold homes are estimated to cost the NHS each year
• Create 128,000 jobs for insulation installers
So, we’re joining Age UK in calling on everyone to contact their MP to tell them we need warmer homes for our elderly residents.