A NEW campaign is calling for more to be done to insulate homes across the county to reduce fuel poverty and excess winter deaths.

In Dorset, there were 480 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 hypothermia.

Called Cold Homes Week, the campaign will run until Friday and aims to raise awareness about fuel poverty and gain the support of the county’s politicians. The campaign is 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 10 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 www.energybillrevolution.org and emailing their MP.

Around 18,000 households in the county rely on oil for their central heating. These homes are typically 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.