Page last updated at 05:35 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 06:35 UK

NI battle to save elderly from fuel poverty death

fuel poverty
A disproportionate number of old people in NI are dying from fuel poverty

Too many older people are dying of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland, a charity has warned.

Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action, (NEA), said the strategy to help the fuel poor in Northern Ireland was failing.

The NEA said national figures given to them showed 2008 had the highest number of cold-related deaths in a decade.

It has called on older people to speak up, tell their stories and force the government to act to end fuel poverty.

NEA is working alongside agencies supporting older people in NI.

Pat Austin, NEA director, said: "We know that older households here are predisposed to fuel poverty, with a third of all pensioners living below the poverty line.

"Our new campaign will help tell the story of older people here, supplementing existing data with real-life evidence about what it is like to be fuel poor."

The charity hopes to build up detailed case studies as part of a campaign to persuade the government to end fuel poverty.

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