The National Energy Action (NEA) charity has warned that next year’s statistics will “expose the full impact” of the energy crisis, despite the Office for National Statistics’(ONS) provisional winter mortality in England and Wales statistics for 2021 to 2022 showing the second lowest figure since 1950 to 1951 (13,400).
The 2021-2022 figures cover last winter where energy bills were much lower than they now and only 4.5 million UK households were experiencing fuel poverty, compared to 6.7 million now, the charity continued.
Research by Cornwall Insight into Britain’s power market out to 2030 has shown that energy prices set to stay high, remaining greater than £100/MWh annually, with highs of £150/MWh in winter 2025.
The NEA’s Fuel Poverty Monitor, the publication of which coincides with the ONS report, found that households on the lowest incomes in energy inefficient homes are being hardest hit during this crisis.
The poverty monitor also noted an increased recognition of the need to accelerate a “fair and affordable” transition to net zero to tackle this emergency.
“Every year we see the consequences of failing to keep the most vulnerable people safe and warm during the coldest, winter months. Today’s figures show a significant drop in premature winter deaths, partly because of a higher number of deaths outside winter months, but the truth is that we should not accept any death directly caused by a cold, unsafe home,” said Adam Scorer, chief executive at NEA.
“Next year, these statistics will expose the full impact of today’s energy crisis. The toxic combination of extraordinary heating costs, stagnant or falling incomes, and our notoriously poor, unhealthy housing stock will take a heavier toll with lives blighted by debt, ill health, and worse.
“Milder weather may not save us, or thousands of vulnerable households this winter. We must do all we can now to prevent a public health emergency and further needless deaths. Fuel Poverty needs long term solutions, but this winter we need the UK Government to give more support and stop millions falling through the cracks with the most awful consequences.”
However, Citizens Advice recently published research which found that 3.2 million people were cut off from their energy supply in 2022 due to being unable to top up their prepayment meter. 19% of these households, the report added, spent a minimum of 25 hours without gas or electricity.