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Winter death toll drops, but numbers still ‘national tragedy’

There were 24,000 extra deaths last winter, thanks to a mild winter and low levels of flu.

fire placeFigures released by the Office for National in their ‘Excess Winter Deaths’ report compares the number of deaths during winter months with the average throughout the year.

While there was and 8% drop comparison to the 25,700 deaths in 2010/11’s winter, the figure of 24,000 has still sparked criticism. The World Health Organisation estimates that 30% of winter deaths in Europe are down to cold homes.

That would mean 7,200 people died from not living in warm homes.

The report comes hot on the heels of Age UK’s ‘The cost of cold’, which stated that 8,000 extra deaths occur per 1 degree drop in temperature.

A preventable tragedy

Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution, said: “The tragedy is that thousands of these deaths are preventable. For one of the most developed countries in the world it is a national scandal that so many still die from living in cold homes.

“If UK homes were fully insulated it would significantly reduce the number who die from the cold each year.  Instead of pocketing our carbon tax, the Treasury should give it back to super insulate the homes of the fuel poor.”

The report follows recent research by uSwitch which found that the average cost of heating a home has risen £227 or 63% in the past five years. This follows recent price hikes which added £90 to the average bill.

Recent research also suggests that Britons are rationing their energy. In a survey research by uSwitch three quarters of households went without heating at some point to keep energy costs down, and nine in ten households plan to ration their energy usage this winter.

Learn more…

Cost of cold – Read all about Age UK’s report about what happens as the thermostat drops.

Insulate your loft – keep the heat in and the cold out!