MANY households in the district are falling in fuel poverty.
In Warwick and Leamington in 2021, 14.2 per cent of households were struggling to
pay gas and electricity bills according to statistics from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
The figures were revealed in response to a question asked by MP Matt Western, and highlighted that out of over 46,000 households in the district, over 6,500 were in fuel poverty in 2021.
And the Warwick and Leamington MP fears the numbers have increased as households feel the bite of the current cost of living crisis.
Living in fuel poverty relates to households that must spend a high proportion of their household income to heat their home at a reasonable temperature and takes into account a household’s income, their fuel costs and their energy consumption – which is affected by the energy efficiency of the home.
In the 2021 statistics, Warwick and Leamington was ranked 186 out of 533 constituencies in England in the list of areas with the highest fuel poverty levels. Over two years, the constituency rose in the rankings of the most affected areas, sitting at number 197 in 2020 and 244 in 2019.
The winter highlights the issue of people being unable to heat their homes to a reasonable temperature and the consequences this can have. Research has found that there is a higher risk of stroke, respiratory infections and falls or other injuries as people have reduced strength and dexterity in low temperatures.
A cold home can also worsen the presence of damp or mould in a property, which brings its own health concerns. People living with mould in their homes are more likely to suffer from a range of health problems including respiratory illnesses, infections, allergies or asthma.
Mr Western said: “I have spoken to so many people over the past year about the impact of rising energy bills, which is really biting and so many say they are having to cut back on their heating.
To see the true scale of the problem outlined in these figures is really shocking particularly as this is something I raised when I was a county councillor and has only got even worse these past few years.
“People should not have to live in cold homes and deal with the consequences on their physical and mental health.
“We urgently need a proper warm homes plan that will save people money on their bills, lift millions of people across the country out of fuel poverty, insulate homes and so much more. We can’t have our communities let down like this any longer. Sadly, the government is out of touch and just doesn’t get it.”