This is a very thought provoking article, bearing in mind the considerably poorer fuel efficiency of the rural housing stock. It tells us:

The appalling statistics on excess winter deaths in England and Wales (Last winter’s NHS crisis worst since 1976, with 50,000 excess winter deaths – ONS, 1 December) demonstrate the extreme hardship so many people face living in our dreadful, leaky homes during cold weather. For every death, probably five people had emergency admissions to hospital and 27 had additional visits to their GPs. The cost to the health service is enormous. If you could afford to keep warm, the effect of influenza would not be so serious.

There have been three recent reports from the government or its advisers setting targets to deal with the problem of the poorest people living in the least energy-efficient housing. But the rhetoric on fuel poverty is not matched by adequate policies. Worse still, no government money is going into making these leaky homes more energy efficient – that task is left to the utilities.

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