14/05/2020 - Permalink

Warmer Homes Shropshire launched to help households lower their heating bills and stay warmer at home

Related topics: Community / Coronavirus / Health / Partner organisations

To help bring down the cost of heating bills for fuel poor and vulnerable households, Shropshire Council along with Herefordshire Council have teamed up with several local charities and the energy supplier E.ON to launch the Warmer Homes programme. Under the scheme in Shropshire, eligible households could benefit from free first time central heating and gas connections.

Over the next two years grants will be available to more than 300 households who don’t currently have central heating, many of whom rely on expensive and inefficient heating systems such as night storage heaters or portable electric heating. If a property needs to be connected to the gas supply to install a central heating system, this will also be covered by the scheme.

Homeowners, as well as private tenants and their landlords could benefit from the scheme. Installing new gas central heating systems could save a household as much as £350 per year, along with the £4,500 cost of a brand new heating system.

Councillor Rob Macey, Cabinet Member for Housing at Shropshire Council said,

“Warmer Homes Shropshire will provide much needed support and advice to householders over the next two years, helping residents stay warm and safe in their homes. It is fantastic to see partners coming together across the County, working to tackle the challenge of affordable warmth. Shropshire Council is committed to helping people afford the energy they need and reduce the health impacts of cold homes. This project is a welcome step forward to helping us to achieve this”

The new scheme is funded by the £150m Warm Homes Fund, which has been established by National Grid and community interest company Affordable Warmth Solutions, who administer the fund on behalf of National Grid to support local authorities to address some of the issues affecting fuel poor households.

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said,

“We’re delighted to be providing funding to Shropshire Council through the Warm Homes Fund programme. We are delighted to be working with the partnership to provide solutions to the challenges associated with homes living in fuel poverty”.

In addition, through the Council’s existing Keep Shropshire Warm scheme, a range of energy advice will be on offer to help residents make their homes more efficient, cheaper and easier to heat,  including to households in rural areas, where gas central heating may not be an option.

Locally, more than 16,000 households in Shropshire are believed to be in or at risk of fuel poverty, meaning they struggle to heat their home and stay warm affordably.

Oliver Rothwell, Project Manager at Keep Shropshire Warm said:

“This new funding will allow us to reach out to many more households in Shropshire. Not only will we be able to help to install first time heating for those that qualify, we can assist many more households with a range of energy advice and support over the phone, online and face-to-face at home. I’d encourage anyone who thinks we could help to get in touch – and for residents to think of any friends or family members who could benefit from the new scheme”

Working in partnership with Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Citizens Advice Shropshire, residents will also be supported to access benefit advice and support and maximise their income.

For more information and to apply visit http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/warmer-homes-shropshire or call 0333 202 4481

The team at Keep Shropshire Warm are available on 0800 112 3743 and can discuss the scheme in more detail, help residents apply and provide advice on any energy topic, big or small. If you are in a  rural area and don’t have central heating, the team could still be able to help.

In order to continue to keep residents and colleagues safe, interested residents will not be visited at homes until it is safe to do so. However, any interested residents are being encouraged to make contact and register an application, and we will continue to contact you by telephone to keep you up to date on your application.