Millions of people are spending the festive period in “Dickensian conditions” because of the energy bills crisis, a new study has found.
New figures from YouGov for the Warm This Winter campaign found almost a third of people with disabilities are spending December in cold, damp houses because they can’t afford to heat their homes.
A quarter of people with pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma or multiple sclerosis, which are made worse by cold and damp, were unable to heat their homes to a safe standard. In total, nine million people were found to be living in such conditions – nearly one in five adults.
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Jonathan Bean, from Buckinghamshire, described his daily battle to keep his home free of mould and damp for his asthmatic son.
“We have dehumidifiers and electric heaters running as much as we can afford to, but that still doesn’t keep the home any warmer than 12 degrees”, he told the End Fuel Poverty Coalition.
“We even had ice forming inside our double glazed windows during the recent cold weather. Our electricity bills keep going up and while others who are ‘off the gas grid’ have had extra government support, we haven’t.”