Evidence from Public Health England (PHE) and a new study have shown that being in fuel poverty puts households more at risk from the worst effects of Covid-19.

PHE have declared there is “clear evidence on the links between cold temperatures and respiratory problems.”

Warm homes, meanwhile, enable immune systems to better fight off viruses, improve the likelihood of people only suffering ‘mild’ symptoms and help improve the recovery process.

This means a future wave of COVID-19 hitting during colder months could have a catastrophic impact.

What compounds the problem is the rise in energy use as people stay at home, have their incomes squeezed and energy efficiency improvements to housing are on hold.

The numbers in fuel poverty are set to soar and the End Fuel Poverty Coalition is working on calculating the extent of the problem.

There are already 2.4m households in fuel poverty, which is caused by low income, high fuel prices, poor energy efficiency, unaffordable housing and poor quality private rental housing, but policy to end fuel poverty has been frozen for three years.

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition has written to the Prime Minister setting out the action that needs to be taken.

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition, of which Brighton & Hove City Council is a part (thanks to a Labour motion to Full Council last year), campaigns to influence government to take action to end fuel poverty and thereby improve people’s health and quality of life as well as seeking to reduce the cost of living, create jobs and negate carbon emissions in the process.

For more information visit endfuelpoverty.org.uk, follow on Twitter @EndFuelPoverty.

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