The number of pensioners dying from hypothermia has nearly doubled in five years, a period when a succession of cold winters has been coupled with drastic rises in energy bills. The official figures emerged after several days of Arctic conditions which drove temperatures across the whole country as low as minus 10C (14F). They showed that 1,876 patients were treated in hospital for hypothermia in 2010/11, up from 950 in 2006/07. The number of sufferers who died within 30 days of admission shot up from 135 to 260.Among other things, Britain bet heavily on wind power, and that bet has not been paying off well. Does this contribute to high prices for other forms of energy? Quite likely. The market is a funny place. Subsidized bad investments push out good investments.
Three-quarters of victims were pensioners, with cases soaring among the over-60s more than any other age group. The increasing toll of hypothermia over the past five years coincides with a surge in energy costs, especially gas prices which have gone up by 40 per cent.