Liquid fuels trade association, The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), is urging the elderly aged 75+ using heating oil to sign up to its Cold Weather Priority initiative before the cold weather hits the UK.
The FPS was responding to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics which show an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales during winter 2017/18.
This is the highest number of excess winter deaths on record since winter 1975/76 and the FPS is keen to ensure the most vulnerable people are protected and helped during this winter.
Deaths last winter were highest in people aged 85 and over, and an estimated 15,000 of all recorded excess winter deaths were related to a cold home, according to fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action.
“The latest figures emphasise that it is the elderly who are most vulnerable in the winter months and that a warm home is vital in the fight against excess winter deaths,” says Guy Pulham, FPS chief executive.
“The Cold Weather Priority is an industry initiative we launched last year, designed to identify those most at risk so we can ensure heating oil deliveries are prioritised for them and they can continue to heat their homes during the winter months.
“While supply shortages and extreme weather are thankfully rare, they do happen – as the Beast from the East in late February 2018 demonstrated. The Cold Weather Priority helped enormously during this extreme cold snap and meant our members were able to deliver heating oil to those most in need despite the logistical challenges caused by the weather.
“Cold homes can be devastating for individuals and can cause health problems such as increased blood pressure or lowered immune system making that person more vulnerable to respiratory infections. It is absolutely vital we do all we can to ensure no one suffers the awful consequences of a poorly heated home.”
PICAP: Help is at hand from the FPS if the weather takes a turn for the worse