Cold home kill more people than cars, alcohol or drugs, research reveals


The number of people who die by simply living in a home that’s too cold is nearly five times higher than deaths from road and road accidents (1,574), and more than carbon monoxide, fire and assault deaths combined, recent research has been able to reveal.

Research from the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) using Office of National Statistics (ONS), National Records of Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency information found that cold homes have killed 46,700 people in the UK last five years.

The new figures also estimate that this winter (2014/15) was the deadliest of the last five years: there are thought to have been two thirds more cold homes deaths than average

A group of over 200 organisations backing the fuel poverty campaign Energy Bill Revolution are calling on the government to tackle this “silent killer” by spending more on energy efficiency in homes.

The most effective way to bring down energy bills is to install energy efficiency measures that can save a household more than £400 per year, the campaign claims – yet the amount of support for energy efficiency to people having problems paying for heating has plummeted 80% in the last two years.

Ed Matthew, director of the Energy Bill Revolution, said: “Cold homes are one of the most deadly killers in Britain today, but this silent menace is too often ignored because it happens behind closed doors. The evidence shows that insulation support for the fuel poor has plummeted through the floor during this Parliament. The Government must step up and put a stop to these unnecessary deaths, by committing infrastructure funds to home energy efficiency and ending our cold homes crisis once and for all.”

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