21/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 12:01

Fuel poverty: The cost of waiting for your insulating

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 3rd Mar 2010 19:44:18

All this week we are looking at the problem of fuel poverty which affects well over a third of local households.

People fall into fuel poverty when more then ten per cent of the household income is spent keeping the house at a comfortable temperature.

While we struggle with the worst fuel poverty in the UK, others have come up with some innovative schemes.

Our Environment Correspondent, Mike McKimm, has been visiting an area that used to have the some of the worst fuel poverty. But not any more.

We have also given you a chance to have your say on the issue and below you can see your comments on, and experiences of fuel poverty.

"I think it would be a good idea to have the government provide people with a low income with a certificate for proof that they are on low income, and for the fuel providers to offer these people a discount, such as half price in November, December, January and February."

"I absolutely agree that old people are dying in cold conditions with meagre heating grants. I personally know of this."

"I can not heat my apartment due to the price of electricity. I only heat the living-room and kitchen and for the past 3 winters I've slept in the living-room. Even so, I still spend about 20 per cent of my disability income on heating. I am only 59 and live with fuel poverty."

"I am 59, on income-based JSA. A cylinder of gas costs me £21.50 and lasts 4 days. And i spend £20 per week on an electric fire. I just can't afford oil and I was refused the allowance."

"My husband works while I am at home. We are currently spending £70 per week trying to keep our rented house warm. We wear lots of layers and the kids are wearing the same to keep warm. We are never entitled to anything as his earnings are too much to get help, and too little to live on. We can't afford the heating now."

"The system for cold weather payments is flawed. If you've worked all your life, become ill long-term, and are in receipt of incapacity benefit, you don't get the allowance. If you've not worked and are on income support, you get it all, even if you're in receipt of top-line DLA?

"My son works 8 hours a week. His rent is £100 a week, and most weeks he has no heat. It is a choice between food or heat."

Fuel Poverty: Heating homes

Fuel Poverty: Northern Ireland worst in Western Europe

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BBC News, 2010. Fuel poverty: The cost of waiting for your insulating [Online] (Updated 3rd Mar 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/41671/Fuel-poverty-The-cost-of-waiting-for-your-insulating [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]

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