Derry City and Strabane District Council supports Fuel Poverty Awareness Day
27 November 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council has advised the public to seek assistance if they are experiencing fuel poverty as part of Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, which takes place today.
A survey of 73 organisations supporting people in fuel poverty during the first wave of Covid-19, conducted by charity National Energy Action, showed that 95% felt there was a moderate or high risk of more households cutting back on their energy use due to being forced to spend more time at home, and three quarters said they were concerned that there is a high risk of the increased building up of fuel debt this winter.
As part of Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, Council is joining national charity NEA Northern Ireland and others up and down the country to highlight these issues and encourage people to seek the help that is available to keep warm at home.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said: "Every winter millions of people across the UK struggle to stay warm and healthy at home. Rising energy costs, low incomes and energy inefficient homes leave them unable to afford even basic household essentials like energy, food and heating.
"Living in a cold home can have a range of impacts on physical and mental health and this year the situation will be even more difficult. Covid-19 is squeezing household finances further and compelling people to spend more time in their homes.
"Some of the health conditions caused or worsened by cold homes, such as asthma and COPD, also place people at greater risk from the virus so if anyone is dealing with fuel poverty I would strongly advise them to seek advice and assistance."
Pat Austin, Director of NEA Northern Ireland, commented: ''160,000 households in Northern Ireland are in fuel poverty and dreading the onset of the cold weather, with no idea of the support that may be available to them. While we commend Government for the recent introduction, we still need to highlight that more much needs done and by working together, we can get help to those who need it most, ensuring that people can live in a warm and safe home this winter."