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Elderly consumers 'must receive thermal insulation'

The installation of energy-efficient measures such as thermal insulation could save the lives of older consumers and money for the government.

According to a new report from Age UK, poorly-insulated properties are setting the NHS in England back by around £1.3 billion every year.

In its The Cost of Cold paper, the organisation stated the elderly are suffering from life-threatening illnesses like strokes and heart-attacks because their homes are not sufficiently prepared for the winter.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at the body, said not only are tens of thousands of older people becoming sick, but the NHS must spend more than £1 billion treating casualties.

"At the root of the problem are badly insulated homes, which together with cripplingly high energy prices, are leaving millions of older people having to choose between staying warm and energy bills they can afford," she added.

Age UK is urging local authorities to do everything they can to help elderly consumers stay warm and it has called for the government to invest in a major energy-efficiency programme.

According to research conducted by the charity, there are around 8,000 extra deaths for every one degree drop in temperature.

Posted by Helen Hughes