LABOUR’S proposed emergency price cap would “transform our broken energy market” and end the “national scandal” of fuel poverty in Britain, the party said today.
A report by charities National Energy Action (NEA) and E3G published to mark Fuel Poverty Awareness Day found an annual average of 32,000 excess winter deaths in Britain over the last five years.
Of that number, 9,700 deaths were “attributable to the avoidable circumstances of living in a cold home,” the report said, adding that British homes are among the least energy efficient in Europe.
It pointed out that Scotland and Wales had both developed energy efficiency schemes to help tackle the crisis, but that the Westminster government had not backed similar programmes in England.
Report co-author Pedro Guertler said: “The UK has one of the worst records on cold homes-related deaths in Europe and it is not only a public health tragedy, it is a national embarrassment.
“This epidemic is entirely preventable and E3G and NEA are calling on the UK government to reinstate public capital investment in home energy efficiency to fix the cold homes crisis.”
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said a future Labour government would introduce an emergency price cap “ensuring that the average bill remains below £1,000 per year, while we transition to a fairer system for bill payers.”
She also pledged to insulate four million homes “as an infrastructure priority to help those who suffer in cold homes each winter.”
Ms Long-Bailey added: “A cold, poorly insulated home doesn’t just mean high bills, it means getting ill, it means repeated visits to the doctor, pressure on the NHS, not to mention the social and emotional impact.
“In one of the richest economies in the world, it is a national scandal that people up and down Britain face living conditions akin to the Victorian era.
“Theresa May promised a price cap during the election campaign, but we are now almost on the other side of winter and hard-up customers are still left waiting.”
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