Steep and alarming increase in winter deaths last year

Figures released this week have shown a steep and alarming increase in winter deaths during winter of last year. A 29% increase on the previous winter statistics for England and Wales brings sharply into light the major heating problems faced by the UK providing stark evidence of the work that still needs to be done.

With Ofgem criticising the profit margins of the big gas & electrical providers stating that there was a “deep mistrust of anything the energy companies do or say”, the charity Age UK described the figures as “shameful” and is urging the government to lower energy bills in order for the most vulnerable – the frail and the elderly – to keep their homes warm during winter.

Age UK’s director Caroline Abrahams, said: “Excess winter deaths are preventable and today’s figures are a damning indictment of our failure to address the scandal of cold homes in this country. We strongly believe that the only sustainable solution is investment to increase the energy efficiency of our housing stock so cold homes become a thing of the past.”

One plausible way to help resolve this situation would be to install renewable energy heat pumps, which would go a long way towards removing the need to make the unenviable choice between heating and eating. Ice Energy Technologies has more than a decade of experience in delivering renewable energy heating systems to homes across the UK and in that time has worked extensively with housing associations to provide improvements for many of the vulnerable groups highlighted by Age UK.

Managing Director and Founder Andrew Sheldon said: “It seems incomprehensible that in this day and age people are unable to afford to heat their homes in what is considered to be a developed country. However, it is encouraging to see new implementations such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) being launched to actively try and eradicate such situations and to prevent them from re appearing. While there is no doubt that more can be done, the RHI is an important and major step forward and one that I would hope will have a positive impact on similar statistics in the future.”