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New research reveals half a million adults in Wales spent Christmas in ‘Dickensian conditions’

09 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Photo Peter Byrne. PA Images

Over half a million adults in Wales spent the Christmas and New Year period in cold damp homes, according to new research.

The figures from YouGov for the Warm This Winter campaign reveal the growing depth of the energy  crisis – especially among the most vulnerable.

More than 600,000 people in Wales, 20% of the Welsh population are living in cold damp homes with a quarter of vulnerable people unable to heat their homes to a safe standard.

Bethan Sayed, Warm this Winter Wales Campaigns Co-ordinator for Climate Cymru said: “These statistics show that we urgently need the Welsh Government to introduce an ambitious energy efficient programme in Wales.

“This should target the worst impacted households first, prioritise improving the fabric of the house with energy efficiency measures, and combine a street-by-street approach and on-demand support for vulnerable households wherever they are.

“We must ensure all new housing in Wales is built to the highest standard of efficiency possible, alongside further support for community energy companies who reinvest their profits into energy efficiency programmes.

“Welsh Government and their partners need to produce good quality, easy to access information and advice on support and grants available, outlining the typical savings and upfront costs.’

Health impacts

The research also reveals that across the UK, one in ten of the population are worried about an older relative being exposed to the health impacts of living in a cold damp home and  almost a third are concerned about the impact of fuel poverty on their local community.

Despite  UK Government campaigns calling for people to save energy, 55% of those questioned believe they had already implemented energy reduction measures prior to this winter – with 15% already cutting back their energy use to the bare minimum necessary to keep safe.

Simon Francis, Co-ordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, commented: “This winter we have seen millions of adults living in Dickensian conditions in cold damp homes. Yet despite energy bills increasing from 1 April 2023, the support for the most vulnerable announced by the UK Government will actually decrease in 2023/24.

“Households across Wales will be worse off than they were this winter.

“While we support the principle of prioritising support for those who need it the most, the Government must go further to help the millions of homes in fuel poverty.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
25 days ago

WCBC are going to fit triple glazed windows this year…in March. No plans to insulate people’s homes though.

Welsh Labour and most of the councils in Cymru are happy to let people freeze.

The good thing about Wrecsam is that now we are a city, we get to freeze and be hungry in the “big” city. Its ace.

Val Owen
Val Owen
25 days ago

Please use another picture. This women has a short sleeved crimpelene top and no socks, on a summer’s evening she could well be cold.
If she had three long sleeved layers, a woolly hat, blanket and furry boots AND was leaning over the fire it might have more impact.

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