Cold homes kill. And obsolete boilers are a big contributor to carbon emissions and dangerous gases in Britain.
They cause health problems, which also cost the taxpayer a lot through hospital admissions and other NHS costs. Just one trip to A&E costs more than £2,500. So one idea is to upgrade household boilers to save the NHS money.
In Sunderland, this idea has been put into practice by Gentoo, one of the big housing associations in the area, with its “boiler on prescription” scheme.
The local clinical commissioning group, which funds health care, has commissioned the scheme to allow certain households to have modern heating, insulation and double-glazing fitted.
They invested £50,000 into these measures as part of a pilot scheme for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. The numbers are only small but the research indicates the scheme is having a big effect in avoiding the need for health service treatment.
Not only do warm homes make people healthier, they also save on fuel bills and reduce dangerous emissions, which benefit us all.
An estimated 20,000 people have COPD in Sheffield. Would such a scheme work here?
Sheffield Green Party