The director at the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), Roger Webb, has said that living in a cold home can significantly inrease the risk of illness and death during the winter months.

His comments support the opening of a consultation by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE), on draft guidance on how to reduce these risks associated with living in a cold home.

Mr Webb continued: "Supporting people to install appropriate measures will not only enhance their living conditions, making their homes warmer, but will also have a significant effect on improving their health.

"As an industry we fully support the new NICE draft guidelines. These include identifying those at risk, ensuring that a referral is made for insulation or heating improvements if necessary, and raising awareness of local systems and services to help people who are living in homes that are too cold.

"There are multiple benefits to be gained. Most importantly, we could prevent ill health or even death whilst reducing energy bills. Secondary benefits include reducing the ongoing costs to the NHS involved in repeatedly treating individuals, and we would see a reduction in our carbon emissions through the installation of more energy-efficient products.”