Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Fuel Poverty in Haringey

A new report from the Assembly Health and Public Services Committee in their investigation into fuel poverty in London concludes that 13 of the 19 wards in the borough of Haringey are at significant risk of falling into fuel poverty.

These fuel poverty risk indicators provide users with a nuanced picture of the impact of various risk factors, exacerbating factors and indicators for fuel poverty, for every borough in London. The Committee's report explains how the tool could be used strategically to help organisations target specific wards that are at high risk of fuel poverty. Appendix 4 in the report set out the rationale for the risk factors present in the tool.

The fuel poverty scores measure risk of fuel poverty based on 12 indicators. The England and Wales average each year is 0. Scores below 0 are more likely to be at risk from fuel poverty according to these measures.

The indicators are:

Dwellings without central heating
Cavity walls that are uninsulated
Lofts with less than 150mm insulation

Health Deprivation & Disability domain (ID2010)
Standardised Mortality Ratio
Incapacity Benefit claimant rate

Older people
People aged 60 and over
Older people claiming pension credit

Income Support claimant rate
Child Poverty rates
Households classified 'fuel poor'

Across London, Fuel poverty affects 560,000 households. In those households, people struggle to heat their homes adequately and as a result many thousands of people live in cold homes which put them at risk of serious ill-health, educational developmental delay in children, mental health problems and, for older people in particular, excess winter deaths.

Fuel poverty is a specific type of deprivation suffered primarily by vulnerable people whose fuel costs make up a high proportion of their income and who live in energy inefficient homes. Older Londoners and young people are at a higher risk of suffering the ill effects of fuel poverty.

Darren Johnson, Councillor and London Assembly Member, said: "Everyone has the right to have a warm home and be able to pay their fuel bills. Persistently cold homes contribute to misery, ill-health and social exclusion - and the fact that the UK consistently has more winter deaths than countries with colder climates is an indication that we have got things wrong.

"We already have the technology to build zero carbon housing and this should be the standard for all new developments."

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