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Eating or Heating? – How to Tackle Fuel Poverty

Jonathon Gregory

 Fuel Poverty Definition

Fuel poverty is an ongoing issue not just throughout the UK but throughout the world. According to The DECC website in 2012, 1 in 4 homes in the UK are defined as being in fuel poverty and what is even more upsetting is the fact that 45% of these homes are families with children.

So what is fuel poverty? Gov.uk believes that fuel poverty is measured by high costs of fuel in tandem with low incomes. For example a household who’s energy costs are far above the average, whom after paying their energy bills, are left with minimal cash to live off because of it. Households who spend more than 10% of their income on energy, are homes who would be classed as being in fuel poverty.

This is a common factor with many households throughout the England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland as energy costs are continually rising – but throughout this article, we are going to investigate the dangers of fuel poverty, what can be done to tackle fuel poverty, and what help and grants are out there for people who experience such situations.

Dangers of fuel poverty

Age.uk emphasise how living in cold homes have many harmful health effects, ranging from circulatory problems, to respiratory problems and even depression. Evidence also suggests that homes in fuel poverty are also at risk of suffering from social isolation – costing the NHS over a billion pounds a year to assist with these issues. In some cases people experiencing fuel poverty have to choose between food or heating their house, posing a huge danger on families, children, adolescents and the elderly.

Last year there were 31,000 winter deaths due to cold homes – most of these people being over the age of 75.

But it is not just the elderly that suffer from such unfair dangers – The Institute of Health Equity have broken down the dangers of fuel poverty throughout different age ranges, and the effects it can have on people of each stage in life.

Children in poverty

Cold housing has been known to have a huge effect on a child’s hospital admission rate, with health factors such as development problems and severity of asthma and attacks. Cold homes have also shown evidence of being the cause of infant weight gain or famine, due to lack of food.

Adolescents in Poverty

The report shows and gives evidence of the effect of fuel poverty on the mental health of adolescents. Adolescents who have been subject to cold homes have been seen to have a wider chance of developing mental health problems and struggling with this from a young age.

Adults in Poverty

Adults in fuel poverty have known to also develop depression through the effects of handling a cold home. Not only this, but there have been measurable effects of cold homes on the physical health of adults, showing quicker deterioration of existing health conditions.

Poverty with the Elderly

Fuel Poverty effects were also evident in regards to higher death risk and higher physical and mental health problems.

Energy Efficiency

One way to try and tackle fuel poverty is the matter of making your home more energy efficient. Making your home more energy efficient would mean that your home was warmer, and potentially you could spend much less on your energy bills as a result, meaning more money to spend on important factors essential to a life.

Now, in today’s day and age, it is easy to think that energy efficiency is expensive, as a project to make your home energy efficient may seem like a big task. The thought of arranging a consultation survey and an install team, and meaning they need to get paid may be an off put. HOWEVER, there are many energy efficiency government grants and funding available to customers in which many people might not even know about.

How does this work i hear you ask? Well, our team actually apply for the funding for you and then the government pay us the funding in which we offer you, so that our teams get paid through that as opposed to through you. We can then install the eligible measures in your home and you would be paying far less – meaning you benefit from energy efficiency without being out of pocket.

The Government have many rules and procedures to adhere to in terms of energy efficiency, therefore are obligated to offer these grants to assist in reducing the levels of fuel poverty within the UK.

Our aim at Tempo therefore, is to help people of the UK to be able to pay less on their energy bills, and to be guided in getting access to various grants in order to help reduce their energy costs and live in a warmer and safer environment, not just for them, but for their friends and family too.

Tackling fuel poverty with Tempo

So what can Tempo do, or what can you do to help tackle fuel poverty?

Did you know that around 9/10 homes could be eligible for free or funding towards Cavity Wall Insulation providing they have cavity walls?

Well, Tempo currently have funding availability for vulnerable homes and people who wish to have <cavity wall insulation> on their property and benefit from warmer and cheaper homes almost instantly. Cavity Wall Insulation has been noted by The Energy Saving Trust to save households up to £275 a year on their energy bills costs, therefore is a pretty amazing way to get your home more energy efficient and help with the costly bills.

Additionally, with Tempo’s HHCCRO contracts, we now allow grants for boilers for customers with qualifying benefits such as pension credit, child tax credit, income support, income based jobseekers allowance, income- related employment support allowance or working tax credit.

We are also very pleased to announce that this now applies for customers both ON AND OFF the gas grid, so even more people could be eligible for funding towards a brand new energy efficient boiler.

How To Apply

Applying for access to Cavity Wall Insulation and for new Energy Efficient Boilers both on and off the gas grid is simple.

You can either call our office on 0800 152 2011 and a member of our team will assist you immediately with your needs

OR

If it is out of office hours, you can apply on the Tempo Website by clicking on the wording of the following links applicable to you, then enter your postcode on our website and details, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

For Cavity Wall Insulation application click here

For Boiler Scheme applications click here

 

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