Fuel poverty campaigners seize on rising winter death figures

Excess winter deaths rose by almost a third in 2012/13 compared to the previous year, the latest Office for National Statistics release shows.

An estimated 31,100 more people died in the winter months compared with non-winter months, representing a 29 per cent increase. The majority, 25,600, were aged over 75.

Fuel poverty campaigners and the energy efficiency industry seized on the figures as evidence that poor insulation and high energy prices cost lives.

The UK Green Building Council warned the numbers would only get worse if government’s “green levy” review results in cuts to energy efficiency funding.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “The prime minister should be in no doubt that these shocking figures are a direct result of how poorly insulated our homes are. If there is any rolling back of energy efficiency schemes such as Eco in the Autumn Statement, these disgraceful numbers are only going to get worse. How much more obvious could that be?”

Meanwhile, UK Uncut teamed up with Fuel Poverty Action on Tuesday to march on Npower’s London HQ in protest at energy price rises, under the twitter hashtag #justicenotjumpers.