Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:A European Union survey has recently shown us that houses in the UK are among the most expensive to heat in Europe. We have one of the highest levels of fuel poverty and our country has one of the highest proportion of homes in a poor state of repair in Europe - more than 10 million families live in a home with rotting windows, a leaking roof or damp walls. This seems incredible for one of the richest countries in the world.
This situation has come about following years of poor construction in the building industry exacerbated by lack of government legislation regarding building standards, particularly regarding insulation and draught proofing.
This poor housing stock means that thousands of people are dying each year because their houses are not only cold but are also damp – a great combination causing debilitating disease. One way out of this situation was ECO – the energy company obligation – which provides for homes to be insulated by the energy companies for a small cost on all our fuel bills. The Big Six energy companies have said that they can no longer continue with this policy and have urged the government to step in and cover the cost through general taxation.
While we have to question the energy companies’ profits which, of course, have to pay share holders, we must ask if it is fair that these costs are added to fuel bills which must be paid by all, rich or poor.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.