1st May 2015
Sky-high energy bills mean the number of cold home deaths has risen to the highest level in five years.
According to the Energy Bill Revolution, 14,780 people died unnecessarily between December and March because they could not afford to heat their homes.
The figure represents the highest number of deaths in five years and comes just after a uSwithc survey found 14.3 million households turned off their heating at some point last winter to keep cost down.
Another two-fifths of people said they left their over door open after cooking to heat the house and a quarter wore a coat, hat or scarf indoors to keep warm.
Commenting on the number of deaths due to cold homes, uSwitch director of consumer policy Ann Robinson, said: ‘Today’s figures are shocking, but unfortunately, will come as little surprise given that over half of homes have admitted to going cold over the winter to cope with sky-high bills.
‘It is unacceptable that people are feeling forced to choose between their health and being able to afford energy.’
She added that recent ‘modest reductions’ in gas tariffs mean customers of the big six energy suppliers are just £28 a year better off leaving ‘4.5 million British ‘fuel vulnerable’ homes spending 10% or more of their income on energy bills’.
Robinson said: ‘Wholesale energy costs continue to fall and energy companies must do more to lower prices, to make a real difference to those in greatest need.
‘There continues to be much talk from politicians about lowering bills and tackling the cold homes crisis, but the reality is that any real help for consumers is still some way off. In the meantime, we should all take control of our bills by using less, wasting less and paying less for our energy.’