The Fuel Poverty Coalition was established in 2010 in response to the increasingly serious levels of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. The Coalition’s aim is to drive forward the fuel poverty agenda in Northern Ireland in terms of both policy and practical initiatives. Members are united by the fact that they wish to highlight the urgent action needed to eradicate fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.

Currently, the Coalition has a membership base of over 160 members from across Northern Ireland; representing businesses, environmental groups, trade unions, the health sector, local councils, consumer groups, housing associations, rural support networks, the voluntary and community sector, young person’s groups, older person’s groups and faith groups.

The most recent Excess Winter Deaths (EWD) figures for 2019-20, provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) show the five-year moving average of EWD was 904 in 2017-18 (based on years 2015-16 to 2019-20).

Excess Winter Deaths are avoidable; however, they seem to have been accepted as part of winter. Rising energy prices, welfare cuts and stagnant wages are causing people to struggle more and more during the winter months. On top of these preventable deaths, we know that many more will have suffered the preventable health impacts of living in a cold and damp home.

Urgent action is needed to improve health outcomes and support the most vulnerable people who are at most risk of needless death and morbidity.