Putting some fire into Cold Homes Week

OFTEC chairman Martyn Bridges, centre, with other members, supporting the Energy Bill Revolution to end fuel poverty in the UK.
OFTEC chairman Martyn Bridges, centre, with other members, supporting the Energy Bill Revolution to end fuel poverty in the UK
To help raise awareness of the 20% of UK households living in fuel poverty and the need to make the country’s homes more energy efficient, OFTEC backed this month’s Cold Homes Week.

Launched by the Energy Bill Revolution (EBR), Cold Homes Week brought together more than 170 businesses, charities and organisations in support of ending fuel poverty. Along with other EBR supporters, OFTEC staff and technicians took part in The Big Tweet sending out tweets using the hashtag #ColdHomesWeek.

Local MPs were also urged to back the campaign to help bring down excess winter deaths, many attributed to rising fuel costs, which topped 31,000 in England and Wales last year.

OFTEC attended a parliamentary reception where knitted scarves, the symbol of the campaign, were presented to MPs to highlight the fuel poverty issue. EBR is urging the government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to help make UK homes super-energy efficient, installing measures such as better insulation and modern boilers to drive down energy bills, keep homes warm and cut carbon emissions.

Director general, Jeremy Hawksley said: “With projections showing that the number of UK homes in fuel poverty is set to rise to one in three households by 2016, this is an issue which urgently needs addressing.

“Our Oilsave website contains lots of useful tips on becoming more energy efficient and OFTEC registered technicians can always provide well professional advice to homeowners. We also teamed up with Age UK to produce a booklet for older people, who are most at risk, to help them keep warm and well during the winter.”

Download the Age UK leaflet at

With many thousands of standard efficiency boilers in need of upgrade, OFTEC has written to the government calling for the introduction of a simple oil boiler scrappage scheme, similar to the one running successfully in Northern Ireland where over 7,770 subsidised oil boilers have already been installed.

Jeremy Hawksley concluded: “The government should be making it as easy and affordable as possible for homeowners to install modern condensing boilers which can save the average household up to 20% on fuel bills as well as cutting their carbon emissions. A simple move like this could go a long way towards bringing down fuel bills and reducing the number of people in the UK living in fuel poverty.”