Fuel poverty could kill 100,000 vulnerable people over the next 15 years, charity warns

National Energy Action claims that energy taxes will mean many people will die unless the next government takes positive action

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The Independent Online

The NHS could be landed with a £22bn bill as cold homes kill 100,000 vulnerable people over the next 15 years, a charity has warned. National Energy Action reckons at least 30,000 vulnerable people have perished prematurely over this parliament due to an inability to heat their homes adequately, and that energy taxes will mean many more die in the next decade and a half unless the next government takes positive action.

That's because millions of low-income and vulnerable households are either in significant personal debt or are in fuel poverty and have to ration their heating. As well as causing acute personal suffering, the charity argues in its Manifesto for Warmth, published today, fuel poverty reduces economic activity in deprived areas and leaves the NHS with an annual bill of around £1.5bn for treating cold-related illnesses every winter.

"New legislation requires future governments to improve fuel-poverty homes to a minimum energy-efficiency standard by 2030," pointed out Jenny Saunders, chief executive of National Energy Action. "However, we need the next government to invest to halt this tragedy in a quicker timescale."

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