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Enfield tackles fuel poverty with special conference

Published Monday, 24 November 2014

Last week Enfield Council organised a special fuel poverty conference in conjunction with British Gas, and NEA (National Energy Action) looking at various ways to tackle this issue in the borough.

fuel poverty

Speakers looked at the importance of affordable warmth, the barriers to residents being able to heat their homes, and what Enfield can do to tackle this problem.
The aim of the Community Action Partnership, which is funded by British Gas and delivered by NEA, is to work with partners across Enfield to reduce fuel poverty bringing affordable energy to residents through practical activities and evaluate the impact on improving lives and the prosperity of the community. This work forms part of the Enfield 2020 sustainability programme by helping residents save money by saving energy, reducing cold-related illness and in turn find any opportunities to create training and job opportunities in Enfield.
Cllr Alan Sitkin, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development said “In a modern society it is a disgrace that we still have many members of our community afraid to put heating on in the coldest months for fear of the bill. Many of these residents are elderly or vulnerable and shouldn’t have to make choices about whether to eat or have the heating on.
“This conference was exciting because it looked at how we could work with partners such as British Gas, and other agencies to make fuel more affordable and available to everyone, and make fuel poverty a thing of the past. It also fits our wider vision to support policies that are economically, socially and environmentally efficient.”
Cllr Rohini Simbodyal, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport, Youth and Public Health said “Living in a cold home is bad for your health.
“Fuel poverty affects over 10,000 households in Enfield and damages both the mental and physical health of our residents. During the winter of 2011/2012 this contributed to the 170 excess winter deaths in the borough.
“Children who live in cold homes have double the risk of asthma and young people four times the risk of multiple mental health problems.  But the risk doesn’t stop there, for everyone, particularly older people; cold reduces strength and dexterity thereby increasing the risk of injury, particularly falls. 
“This conference was important because it is bringing together some of the big players in fuel supply, and looking for ways to solve this growing problem.”
Christine Tate from British Gas said: “The investment in this partnership will mean that help and support is available for people in Enfield. With winter coming, making sure homes are warm and dry is a priority.  We expect the partnership to deliver tangible benefits and help to make a significant difference to people’s lives in the borough.”


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