The risks of COVID-19 and fuel poverty

Fuel poverty puts households more at risk from the worst effects of Covid-19.

Public Health England (PHE) have declared that there is “clear evidence on the links between cold temperatures and respiratory problems. Resistance to respiratory infections is lowered by cool temperatures and can increase the risk of respiratory illness.”

Damp and mould are associated with a 30-50 per cent increase in respiratory problems (Ruse & Garlick, 2018)

10,000 extra winter deaths are caused every year by cold homes.

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

Reducing preventable ill health arising from cold homes will be vital in protecting NHS and care services this winter.

Unless we do so, the combination of a future wave of COVID-19 and rising numbers in fuel poverty could be disastrous. The actions needed to prevent this disaster are simple and clear.