Property Care Association Property Care Association

08 Sep 2022 < Back

Are we facing the worst winter ever?

Whilst we may not have predicted a new UK Prime Minister at the beginning of the year, we did predict that rising energy costs would lead to irreversible long-term damage – both to the health and wellbeing of individuals and to the buildings we occupy.

Once again, we are propelled into a state of fear. ‘Catastrophe’… ‘Cost of living emergency’… ‘Humanitarian crisis’… just how many of us will afford the 80% rise in our energy bills? How many people will be forced into choosing between heating their home and other basic needs?

Are the headlines to be believed?

Will Liz Truss ‘deliver’ on her promise to freeze the UK’s energy bills? In her opening speech outside No.10 on Tuesday, she said she will ‘deal hands-on with the energy crisis’ but at this point, it’s all still guesswork.

The next few days will be telling and whilst much has been written on the subject, and by us too, we are revisiting the issue…

Back in January, CEO Steve Hodgson’s blog talked about the dangerous effects cold homes have on people and the property they live in. As specialists in the area of moisture imbalance, many of our members understand the implication and outcomes of not heating a building. But for the homeowner faced with mounting costs, this is likely to be their only choice. The impact on their wellbeing, both mentally and physically will be horrific and as we’ve said before, it is beyond comprehension for this to be the case today.

Colder buildings this winter

We hear all too often that young lungs exposed to damp, cold air in damp, cold homes are more likely to become seriously ill. How many students and how many vulnerable people will suffer the same fate, just because they have followed advice to just heat one room in their house?

In all honesty, what student knows or cares about condensation – it’s almost a right of passage to have damp and mould in your student digs! And of course, this advice may save them welcome beer money in the short-term, but it will be detrimental and have a long-term effect on the building long after they’ve left...

What we can bank on is that we will see an increase in damp, mould, and condensation in homes up and down the country. Repairing and maintaining our homes costs money. But where in the pecking order does this fall? And what about the cost on the physical and mental wellbeing of occupants?

The full impact on our health & wellbeing

We are yet to truly understand the full impact on mental health following the pandemic, so how will we fare during and after the energy crisis? How many vulnerable people will suffer the dreadful consequences of continuously poor living conditions?

For many of us, we will be able to heat our homes and we will survive the winter months. But until our new PM releases more information on the Government’s plans to support us, we can only continue to share good, sound advice – for both the people and the buildings they live in.

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