17 May 2012
Macmillan Cancer Support responds to the latest Government figures on levels of fuel poverty in the UK.
Laura Keely, Campaigns Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
“It is a disgrace that the number of vulnerable households in the UK who are living in fuel poverty has gone up by 2 million in the last ten years. Despite a slight drop in the level of fuel poverty in 2009-10, these figures paint a bleak picture at a time when average household energy bills have shot up over the last few years.
“We are deeply concerned for the thousands of cancer patients who are struggling to meet fuel costs they simply cannot afford. Their condition makes them feel the cold more and they often spend a lot of time off work and at home during treatment or recovery, which pushes up their energy bills.
“That’s why it was so important that the recent Independent Fuel Poverty Review in England clearly highlighted the particular vulnerability of people with long-term conditions, such as cancer, to fuel poverty. It is crucial that the Government takes action and acts upon the Review’s recommendations. Cancer patients should not be forced to choose between a warm home and other essentials such as food.”
For further information, please contact:
Claire Keuls, Media & PR Officer
020 7840 4872 (out of hours 07801 307 068)
Notes to Editors:
 A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime. A vulnerable household is one that contains the elderly, children or someone who is disabled or has a long term illness.
Department of Energy & Climate Change Fuel Poverty Statistics, Annual Report on Fuel Poverty Statistics 2012, http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/stats/fuel-poverty/5270-annual-report-fuel-poverty-stats-2012.pdf
 In 2011 Macmillan gave £2,680,222 to 13,691 people to help with their fuel bills.
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. More than 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.