Keepmoat wrap up to mark Cold Homes Week
Published by Hazel Rycroft for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Environment, Health, Local Government
The workforce at Keepmoat's head office wear scarves for Cold Homes Week
Employees at national housing and regeneration specialist, Keepmoat, wrapped themselves in scarves for work to mark Cold Homes Week.
Cold Homes Week which runs from Monday, February 3rd to Friday, February 7th, was set up by the pressure group Energy Bill Revolution to highlight the plight of people living in fuel poverty.
Although the United Kingdom has some of the lowest unit prices for gas and electricity in Europe, only Estonia has a higher proportion of people in fuel poverty, mainly due to the energy inefficiency and poor state of repair of British homes.
Over the past ten years Keepmoat has made 350,000 homes warmer through insulation or energy efficiency measures, saving residents more than £160m on energy bills.
However, there are still more than seven million solid wall properties in the country which only provide their residents with as much insulation as a modern conservatory.
Keepmoat is also part of a ground-breaking NHS-backed retrofit scheme called Warm Homes Oldham which aims to lift more than 1,000 people out of fuel poverty in its first year.
The scheme, which is costing NHS Oldham CCG, Oldham Council and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership £200,000 to set up is expected to save the partners £300,000 per year in reduced hospital admissions and social care costs as people’s mental and physical health improves.
Nigel Banks, Group Sustainability Director, said: “We believe that improving the energy efficiency of Britain's housing stock should be seen as a key national infrastructure priority for all political parties.
“In the UK, we need to wrap up our homes better if we are to lose our reputation as the cold man of Europe.
“The UK’s share of people living in leaky homes is almost twice as high as Sweden’s, and our walls lose three times as much heat.
“The fact is, only Estonia has a higher proportion of people in fuel poverty than the UK and this can largely be explained by the energy inefficiency and poor state of repair of our homes.”
Alison Isaacs’ son Darryl was a regular visitor to the A&E hospital ward in Oldham due to his severe asthma, which was exacerbated by living in a cold home.
Darryl would be taken to hospital around eight times a year to use a nebuliser in emergencies.
However, since the family had free insulation and a free boiler installed by Keepmoat last August through the Warm Homes Oldham scheme, Darryl has not been taken to hospital once and no longer needs to take his Montelukast breathing tablets or use an inhaler.
Mum, Alison, 42, said: “Darryl used to be on his inhalers and have to take two puffs in the morning and two puffs at night as well as taking his montelukast tablets and he’s been on that for years.
“Darryl used to have quite regular asthma attacks especially in the winter when the freezing temperatures trigger it.
“Since we’ve had the insulation done he does not use his inhalers whatsoever. It is absolutely fantastic.”