Public investment in warm homes and insulation across England has been cut by 58% since 2012.
That’s according to a new report from think tank e3g, which says improving energy efficient measures should be made a national priority.
It says this is because the country has the second worst record on cold weather-related deaths out of 30 European nations, with an average of around 32,000 excess winter deaths in the UK over the last five years.
The report suggests Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales currently spend four times, three times and twice as much per citizen as England on installing energy efficiency measures respectively.
The think tank says it would be far better economic value for the government to spend its infrastructure budget insulating homes across the country than building the High Speed Two (HS2) railway.
It suggests by classifying fuel poverty as an energy infrastructure issue, Scotland has been able to plough large amounts of funding into solving the problem of cold and inefficient housing.
A BEIS spokesperson said: “The government is committed to tackling fuel poverty which is why we’re providing £770 million worth of support to help reduce the fuel poverty gap. In April 2017 we reformed the Energy Company Obligation to increase the amount of the scheme that is directed to low income households from £310 million to £450 million.
“We intend to consult on proposals to increase this to £640 million, so that the entire scheme will be focused on low income households from 2018.”