A warm glow for cold homes in the borough

Residents who struggle to heat their homes could now receive a helping hand to keep warm during winter. They can now apply for a new service, ‘Connected for Warmth’ offering fully-funded gas connections and free first time gas central heating systems to eligible households.

A warm glow for cold homes in the borough

Households who can benefit from this service are those most in need of support, including people on a low income and who have high energy bills or whose health and wellbeing are made worse by the cold and live within close proximity to a suitable gas network.

Both homeowners and private tenants can apply, tenants will need to do so with the permission of their landlord, and private landlords will need to make a small contribution.

Telford & Wrekin Council is promoting this new service after supporting a successful bid for funding alongside AgilityEco, who will deliver the service.

The money for the scheme will come from the Warm Homes Fund and from Cadent. This is a national fund of £150 million established by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS).

Fliss Mercer, the Council’s Assistant Director with responsibility for Homes, said: “This funding is excellent news, particularly as today we’re joining National Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, to raise awareness of all the support available for those in fuel poverty.

“Almost 1 in 9 homes in Telford and Wrekin are in fuel poverty, which means they cannot afford to heat their homes to an acceptable level.

“This funding will help eligible households to improve their quality of life and ultimately, their health and wellbeing.

“It also complements a number of other initiatives to tackle fuel poverty - such as the LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) scheme.

This helps eligible households reduce their energy costs and implement free-of-charge measures, such as fitting energy-saving LED bulbs or heat reflectors, to keep their homes warm.

“We hope that many households in our borough will benefit from the “Connected for Warmth” scheme, but the funding is limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

“As such, we encourage residents without gas central heating to get in touch as soon as possible, by visiting www.connectedforwarmth.org.uk or calling the free helpline on 0800 029 4547 to find out if they are eligible and get their applications in. “

Jeremy Nesbitt, the Managing Director of AWS said: “I am indebted to National Grid and Cadent for their financial support and with our partners AgilityEco, we are delighted to support the delivery of fully-funded new gas connections and central heating to eligible homes in Telford and Wrekin.

“The scheme has worked really well in other parts of the country. As such, we believe it will make a huge difference for eligible residents, to make their homes warmer and more comfortable and their energy bills lower.”

In England a household is considered fuel poor if they have above-average heating costs and if paying these costs would then leave them with an income below the official poverty line.

To find out more about Council’s services helping reduce energy bills and tackle fuel poverty, go to this Energy Advice page on the Council website