6.5 million people are living in fuel poverty
Imagine facing the stark choice between heating your home or buying food to eat this winter.
For many of the 6.5 million* people in the UK currently living in fuel poverty this is reality. And with rising fuel prices ever more people can’t afford to keep their homes adequately heated, making winter a very difficult time indeed. In the most extreme cases some are faced with the stark choice of whether to heat their homes or buy food to eat*.
"I don't feel trapped anymore"
Mrs Golton is a pensioner and lives in a Housing Association terraced house with her daughter and two dogs.
"I was trying to put off putting on the heating by wearing cardigans, socks, layers, things like that. I used to put the gas fire on but it’s so expensive to run. The bills are going up but your income stays the same. The priorities are heating and food, and other things you have to give up.
It’s good that someone actually comes to visit you and talk you through everything, it’s much better than over the phone or online. There’s someone there, there is eye-to-eye contact. I find it easier to understand - the Green Doctor became my friend! The Green Doctor helped me apply for the warmer homes discount which I got.
He also installed heat reflective panels, draught excluders around all of the doors to stop the draught, so the kitchen is warmer now. It used to be very draughty, I use it much more now that it it’s not as cold. They also gave me advice on how I can cut down on energy use.
After the visit I feel more in control, I’m not worried about winter now.
I don’t feel trapped anymore."
You can help vulnerable people who have to make such a life threatening decision by donating now.
Fuel poverty affects a wide range of people, although families with children and those of retirement age living in private rented accommodation are particularly vulnerable. The effects can be fatal – in 2012 there were 31,000 excess winter deaths*.
Green Doctor's prescribe a lasting solution
Groundwork's Green Doctors are independent, impartial experts who give homes a check-up then provide energy saving advice. They have a proven track record of helping people in fuel poverty - helping 33,500 households last year alone. The support is tailored to each resident helping them take simple but lasting steps that help them to keep their homes warm and reduce their fuel bills.
Many of the households we visit often have other health or financial problems. Being in the home allows Green Doctors to identify these issues and to provide solutions or recommend other sources of support.
A £100 donation will pay for a Green Doctor to visit a person who needs this help to keep warm this winter
Groundwork’s Green Doctors also need specialised kit.
In an average household we fit twenty five pieces of kit at a cost of £64 per visit. Kit such as reflective radiator panels and hot water tank jackets help lower the energy consumption, saving money and helping households out of fuel poverty for the long term.
We need enery monitors, draught proofing, energy efficient CFL / LED light bulbs, reflective radiator panels, hot water tank jackets, chimney balloons, shower head water saving devices and tap aerators.
Help make fuel poverty a thing of the past this winter.
Read more about Fuel Poverty in the UK:
ITV News: http://www.itv.com/news/2014-11-06/cold-chamber/