NEIL Hamilton, UKIP Leader in Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, urges widespread publicity to help eradicate fuel poverty.
His call comes following the announcement of a new Cold Weather Priority initiative by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers.
The CWP scheme helps to identify customers who are over 75 years of age, and may be at risk, particularly during times of fuel shortages or extreme cold weather. FPS member heating oil suppliers, across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, will know exactly who they are and can take pro-active steps to prioritise fuel deliveries to these customers
Mr Hamilton said:
“I welcome any initiative to help our elderly population keep warm and safe this winter.
“No one should be without heating because they can’t afford it and measures must be taken to make sure this does not happen.
“It is vital we take the necessary precautions before the winter weather takes hold.
“In the UK over 40,000 people die each year because of the cold. 82.5% of them are over 75 years of age and experiencing fuel poverty.
“These are deeply shocking statistics and we should all be horrified that so many people die of cold.
“Winter will soon be upon us. Family, friends, neighbours, and any elderly person who uses oil for heating, should ensure they are aware of the Cold Weather Priority scheme. It could be the difference between life and death.”
A report from The UK Fuel Poverty Monitor says that based on ONS data, in England, alone there were as many as 1,724 extra deaths during the ‘Beast from the East’ (22 February to 3 March 2018). Across the UK the number the number may even be as high as 2,000.
With more than 1.5 m rural homes in the UK using oil for heating the FPS, together with members are promoting the CWP Initiative for the off-grid sector this October.
FPS members are now working at identifying and getting consent from those who come into the CWP category, and have also launched a website dedicated to the Cold Weather Priority initiative.
This potentially life-saving initiative costs nothing to heating oil customers, simply speak to your local FPS member heating oil supplier. For more information go to www.coldweatherpriority.co.uk.