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New national insulation scheme needed to tackle fuel poverty - Farron

March 20, 2017 9:40 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

South Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling for the government to introduce a new 'Warmer Homes, Cheaper Heating' insulation scheme to support residents living in fuel poverty. Figures show that more than 1 in 10 households in Westmorland and Lonsdale live in fuel poverty, and it is thought that cold homes could have been responsible for as many as 17 deaths last year.

Analysis of government data by a cross-party group of MPs shows that there are almost four and a half thousand households in Westmorland and Lonsdale, representing almost 12% of the total. In the North West, households in fuel poverty typically pay £352 more per year to keep their homes warm compared to their more affluent neighbours.

The group also suggests that there were 58 'excess winter deaths' in Westmorland and Lonsdale last year, which shows the difference between the winter death rate and the average rate for the rest of the year. It is thought that 30% of these deaths are attributable to cold homes.

However, the data also shows that just 2% of homes in the area got support from the main national energy efficiency programme, despite all households paying for it through their energy bills.

Tim has tabled a motion in parliament calling on the government to introduce a new 'Warmer Homes, Cheaper Energy' insulation scheme to target support at those households living in fuel poverty.

Tim said: "These figures are shocking, and show the dire situation faced by thousands of households across our area. Vulnerable residents are being forced to choose between suffering in the cold or paying a fortune to stay warm. The government must introduce a new 'Warmer Homes, Cheaper Energy' scheme to insulate the homes of those living in fuel poverty. This would reduce energy consumption, helping to keep homes warm and reduce energy bills. The government must not stand by as vulnerable residents continue to suffer."