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23rd June 2011

Fuel Poverty Coalition Calls For Action To Eradicate Fuel Poverty

The Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Coalition today briefed the Committee for Social Development at the Northern Ireland Assembly over the increasingly serious levels of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.

Pat Austin, Director, National Energy Action and co-chair of the Fuel Poverty Coalition said, “the most recent Northern Ireland Conditions Survey showed that in 2009, that 44 per cent of households (302,000) in Northern Ireland are now in fuel poverty. It is essential that this Assembly term, the Northern Ireland Executive looks to comprehensively tackle fuel poverty before it becomes simply unaffordable for the vast majority of households in Northern Ireland to heat their homes to an adequate level.”

John French, Head of Energy, Consumer Council and co-chair of the Fuel Poverty Coalition called on the new Northern Ireland Executive to develop a detailed and costed action roadmap setting out how and when fuel poverty will be eradicated in Northern Ireland and to provide support to all fuel poor households to stay warm until fuel poverty can be eradicated”.

Heather Monteverde, General Manager for Northern Ireland, Macmillan Cancer Support and member of the Fuel Poverty Coalition explained “that it is crucial that fuel poverty is tackled by all Government Ministers within the Executive. The health impacts of fuel poverty are well understood. Living in a cold home can damage an individual’s quality of life and their health. Many people with cancer are struggling to keep warm and pay their energy bills. Our research shows nearly one in five people with cancer turn off the heating, even though they're cold, because they're worried about paying their energy bills. The Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Coalition is calling for the current Winter Fuel Payment to be extended to other vulnerable groups such as those with cancer who are in particular need and struggling with their energy bills.

If you would like to sign up to the Fuel Poverty Coalition, please visit www.fuelpovertycoalition.org.uk 



ENDS

1.     Fuel Poverty Coalition media contact: Pauline Gordon, telephone 029 9067 4807 or 07909972704 or email info@fuelpovertycoalition.org.uk.

2.     The NI Fuel Poverty Coalition launched on 1 November 2010, as a response to the increasing levels of fuel poverty in NI.  The Coalition’s focus is to move forward the fuel poverty agenda in NI, in terms of both policy and practical initiatives. 

3.     For more information, visit our website at www.fuelpovertycoalition.org.uk 

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