15 March 2012
Macmillan Cancer Support responds to the final report of the Hills Fuel Poverty Review.
Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
“We are delighted that the Hills Fuel Poverty Review has recognised that people with long-term illnesses, such as cancer, are particularly vulnerable to fuel poverty and has clearly stated that these vulnerable groups should be prioritised for support.
“Cancer patients are particularly susceptible to fuel poverty. They often need to spend more time at home, leading to a rise in fuel bills just when their household income has dropped by up to half. Many cancer patients find themselves in debt or are forced to cut down on other daily essentials, such as food, as they struggle to meet the rising cost of their energy bills.
“It is now time for the Government to step up and act upon the recommendations in the report. Cancer patients should no longer have to suffer in fuel poverty.”
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Media & PR Officer
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors:
Fuel poverty is defined by the Government as when someone has to spend more than 10% of their income on energy to heat and power their home.
1 in 4 people having cancer treatment struggle to pay their energy bills.
6 out of 10 people with cancer have had higher energy bills since diagnosis.
Nearly 1 in 5 people living with cancer turn the heating off, even though they feel cold.
Macmillan Cancer Support/RS Consulting’s 2010 research into fuel poverty found that certain groups of cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to fuel poverty. These include those undergoing treatment (25%) and those on certain benefits, such as, housing benefit (47%) and council tax benefit (46%). The research also highlighted that 27% of cancer patients on disability living allowance and 40% with an annual household income of under £20,000 are in fuel poverty.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced that it will publish a consultation in the summer on the proposals to measure fuel poverty.
Macmillan Cancer Support works closely with npower and together have developed the Fuel Management Programme to lift people affected by cancer out of fuel poverty. Together we provide assistance with bills and arrears as well as energy efficiency advice. Over 900 npower customers received help from the programme. If you are an npower customer and spending more than 10% of your income on fuel or for information about how Macmillan can help you visit Macmillan.org.uk/heatingcosts.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.