Tackling Fuel Poverty can Improve Health, but needs Resources


Fuel poverty is a significant threat to public health with its links to heart disease, respiratory illness and mental health. People on low incomes are most likely to live in fuel poverty. The Fuel Poverty Strategy, which was launched 23 November, 2004, needed to be adequately resourced to help reduce the devastating effects of health inequalities in our society, according to the Institute of Public Health in Ireland. The Institute of Public Health recently completed research which showed that locally based projects are an effective way of improving the energy efficiency of homes. The findings from the research conducted by the Institute of Public Health showed that local fuel poverty interventions can reduce fuel poverty and improve health: - The energy efficiency of homes were significantly improved - There was a statistically significant increase in levels of benefit uptake - People reported spending less on fuel after intervention - There were significant reductions in the presence of condensation, mould and damp, which is where we have the strongest evidence of links to ill-health - There was a significant reduction in the number of illnesses (associated with fuel poverty) reported by those who received the heating conversion and insulation - People reported reductions in the use of health services after intervention

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© The Institute of Public Health in Ireland