Rising energy prices over the last few years have left many more of us struggling to be able to heat our homes. According to the latest statistics, Shropshire has over 45,000 households (nearly a quarter of all households) in fuel poverty. Shropshire has the second highest ratio of households in fuel poverty in the UK with nearly 1 in 4 households struggling to pay fuel bills.
Fuel Poverty is defined as any household that needs to spend 10% or more of household income to heat the home to an adequate level. Fuel poverty is driven by three main factors; Energy cost, Household income and property type/performance.
There are specific health consequences of exposure to low temperatures and the drivers of fuel poverty are significant factors in determining the temperatures at which individuals live. Health impacts caused by exposure to cold tend to relate to cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Low temperatures are also associated with diminished resistance to infections and the incidence of damp and mould in the home (which are also associated with lower standards of energy efficiency. These effects are most important for the youngest children and increase for the most elderly.
Less directly, households that have to spend a high proportion of their income on fuel have to compensate in other parts of their family budgets. This can lead to poor diet, or reduced participation in social or leisure activities, both of which can also impact on health and quality of life. These negative effects of fuel poverty can be particularly significant for vulnerable groups
Recommended temperatures for the home are 21oC in living rooms and 18oC in bedrooms. Given that prices are likely to continue rising Keep Shropshire Warm can help you to create an AFFORDABLE WARMTH environment in your home.
KSW can help! We provide advice and assistance on minimising energy cost via tariff switching and different payment methods: improving household income by signposting to benefits advice and potential sources of funding in the case of hardship: and improving the performance of your home via insulation measures, draught-proofing and even simple behavioural changes that will save you money.