By Christabel - posted on November 27, 2020

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day 2020

This winter is going to be tough for everyone, but particularly for those in fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is caused by a combination of low income, high energy costs and inefficient housing. Households in fuel poverty typically have other vulnerabilities such as old age, young children, ill-health and disability. This fuel poverty awareness day we want to raise awareness of the situation locally and support available for those struggling to keep warm or pay for electricity and gas. 

Based on the latest BEIS and PHE statistics an estimated 10,964 Southampton households, 39,915 Hampshire households and 9,859 Portsmouth households are living in fuel poverty and there are approx. 89 Southampton, 512 Hampshire and 95 Portsmouth excess winter deaths. 

Impact of Covid-19

Public Health England and National Energy Action (NEA) have been highlighting the impact that Covid-19 will have on fuel poverty and the increased risk from living in a cold home, for example: 

  • Financial instability caused by Covid-19 will make it more difficult for people to pay their bills and more likely to get into debt, for some this may be the first time they have got into problems and they may not know where to get support 
  • Unemployment, working from home and lockdown means that people will be using more energy and could be spending more time in a cold home 
  • Coping strategies such as only heating (and the whole household spending time in) one room, not ventilating the home to avoid draughts, and seeking out heated public spaces could increase the spread of Covid-19 
  • Householders with respiratory and circulatory health conditions affected by cold weather are likely to be at greater risk from Covid-19 and worsening health caused by a cold home could put extra strain on NHS services. 

Advice and Support

If you need advice and support with keeping warm and affording your heating cost, please get in touch with our teams: 

Other support available locally: