CAMPAIGNERS claim there were 820 “excess winter deaths” in Hampshire last year, which they are blaming on people not being able to heat their homes.

The Cold Homes Week this week is calling for more to be done to reduce excess winter deaths.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about fuel poverty and get the support of the county’s politicians to make UK homes much more energy efficient.

A spokesman said: “In Hampshire alone, there were 820 excess winter deaths recorded in 2012 which are deaths over and above the average death rate during non-winter periods, mostly due to elderly people dying from being too cold.”

The campaign is being organised by the Energy Bill Revolution (EBR), an alliance of 170 major charities, businesses and organisations, who are calling for more action to be taken to improve energy efficiency in the one in five households currently living in fuel poverty – defined as anyone who spends more than ten per cent of their income on energy to keep warm.

OFTEC, the trade body for the oil-fired heating industry, is supporting Cold Homes Week by urging residents across the county, regardless of which fuel they use to heat their homes, to support Cold Homes Week by visiting and emailing their MP.

The campaign says 21,000 households in the county rely on oil for their central heating. These homes are typically more rural properties with older, less efficient heating systems and poor insulation.

The EBR will petition the Government during Cold Homes Week to invest in better insulation for our leaky homes by asking for the money raised through carbon taxes to be used to provide better insulation grants, bringing nine out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty.

This would also help to reduce the number of excess winter deaths, which last year reached a national high of more than 30,000.

For information on saving money on oil, visit