IN an era of increasing fuel prices, the problem of fuel poverty is due to reach crisis levels this winter. National Energy Action (NEA) estimates if all energy suppliers increase their prices at the rates anticipated, more than 6.1 million households in the UK will be suffering in fuel poverty.
These households suffer terribly in cold conditions during the winter, and for some, living in cold temperatures can even lead to acute illnesses or death.
In addition to older households, families on very low incomes and households with sick or disabled occupants are particularly at risk of fuel poverty due to their high heating and hot water requirements.
All children should be happy, healthy and excited for Santa arriving as we enter the winter months. Instead, children who live in fuel poor homes suffer from educational underachievement, social isolation and health related problems, such as asthma.
Please help us, and make sure children and other vulnerable people in your area do not have to make difficult decisions between eating and heating this winter.
The north east is the highest ranking region for fuel poverty.
In Northumberland, 23.9 per cent of households are living in fuel poverty (32,934 out of a population of 137,793).
This is approximately one in four households.
NEA is the only national fuel poverty charity. We are recognised for having helped thousands of low income and vulnerable households directly, and millions indirectly, to escape from fuel poverty.
We have three decades worth of experience of developing and delivering projects which aim to alleviate fuel poverty in local communities.
NEA is a small charity with a big impact.
If you are fortunate enough not to worry about your fuel bills, we need your support to help bring an end to fuel poverty.
NEA uses public donations to fund project work to directly help the fuel poor. Please support us and find out more at www.nea.org.uk/donate
If you need help with your own fuel bills, please contact the Home Heat Helpline on www.homeheathelpline.org.uk/ or ring 0800 336699.
Income generation and marketing manager