Fuel Poverty and Health
The link between living in a cold, damp home and the stress of attempting, on a regular basis, to make ends meet and poor health has long been recognised.
A range of research papers have looked into various aspects of this relationship and some initiatives are now aiming to identify workable solutions.
The impact of low indoor temperatures on health was firmly established by the World Health Organisation in 1985. In 1986, K. J. Collins of the UK Medical Research Council published a paper, Low Indoor Temperatures and Morbidity in the Elderly, which established clear links between cold indoor temperatures and health risks to the elderly in the UK.
In a report for Save the Children, Professor Christine Liddell has asserted that every £1 spent reducing fuel poverty saves the NHS 42 pence. The connection between fuel poverty and health is based upon the health implications of living in cold, damp homes. Those who are fuel poor are more likely to turn their heating down below the level adequate for their well-being, and more likely to live in energy inefficient homes which are poorly insulated and prone to dampness.