BBC News Health today published a report titled: Illnesses related to living in a cold home cost the NHS £1.36bn every year, a report by Age UK suggests.

  • Thousands of older people are dying prematurely due to the health effects of living in the cold.

  • Each year in England and Wales there are about 27,000 extra deaths each winter, mostly among older people.

  • Age UK is urging the government and local authorities to help improve energy-saving measures in homes in a bid to reduce winter deaths.

  • The majority of the elderly who die in winter die from strokes, heart diseases and lung problems, worsened by the cold.

  • The root of the problem is poorly insulated homes and the increases in energy bills in recent years, making older people cut back on heating to save money, Age UK says.

I suggest that it is reasonable to conclude from this report that a massive and urgent national up-scaling of spending on deep retrofits makes economic sense in addition to the ethical and environmental imperatives that ought to be sufficient alone to stimulated action in a civilised country. Our Passive House Mayville Community Centre has had no heat input whatsoever so far this year and yet the temperatures remain between 21 and 23 degrees. We are monitoring adjacent un-insulated flats which are struggling to reach 17 degrees in spite of heating costs which are barely affordable for residents.