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Heating: Health

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 128457, tabled on 23 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how his Department defines health and wellbeing as it applies to the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy; and whether that definition correlates with that of the World Health Organisation.

Answered on

3 March 2022

The Heat and Buildings Strategy, released last year, did not formally define health and wellbeing, however it note that improving the energy performance of buildings and installing low carbon heating can deliver benefits in both areas, especially for those living in fuel poverty. For health, it stated this can include this avoiding physical illnesses, such as heart and lung conditions and experiencing cold-related sickness. For wellbeing, making energy efficiency improvements can improve mental wellbeing, as it reduces energy costs, as well as increasing productivity by making homes warmer and more comfortable.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) definition of health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ (WHO, 1948).

The use of the term ‘health and wellbeing’ in the Heat and Buildings Strategy is consistent with this definition.