Barnsley Council is launching their Keep Warm this Winter campaign to remind residents about the support available to keep well and warm this winter. To kick-start the season, Friday 29 November marks Fuel Poverty Awareness Day which is coordinated by the charity, National Energy Action. The national day aims to raise awareness of the issues faced by those living in cold homes and the solutions available from the council and other local organisations.
The council’s Warm Homes and Hospital Discharge team offer a range of support to help residents with their energy bills including applying for energy bill discounts for low-income households, giving advice on energy price comparisons and improving home energy efficiency. To find out more about how the team could help you, visit http://www.barnsley.gov.uk/help2heat or call 01226 773366.
The support available also includes the council’s energy efficiency scheme, Better Homes Barnsley. The scheme is open to homeowners and private tenants and offers new boilers, and loft and cavity wall insulation. Grants are available to those on low incomes and with health conditions made worse by the cold. Better Homes Barnsley is also currently offering first-time gas central heating systems to eligible homeowners for free and at a cost of £750 for landlords with eligible tenants. Further information on the scheme can be found by visiting https://www.betterhomesyorkshire.co.uk or calling 0800 597 1500.
Mrs Palmer, who received a new boiler and thermostat through the Better Homes Barnsley scheme, said: "It was awful having no heating, I was staying in bed with a hot water bottle. I tried contacting lots of other companies offering boiler grants, but they all had long waiting times and contributions to make.
"The Warm Homes and Hospital Discharge team were the ones who got things going, and it got sorted very quickly. Since having a new boiler, I get up in the morning, have a hot bath, and I've gone back to my voluntary job. I would definitely recommend Better Homes Barnsley to friends or family. I think they can see what difference it's made and I'm over the moon."
David Shepherd, Service Director for Regeneration and Culture at Barnsley Council, said: "We have a variety of programmes in place to tackle fuel poverty, including improving energy efficiency and reducing the cost of energy. We are especially grateful to National Grid who have provided funding to support our schemes through their £150m Warm Homes Fund and this is making a difference to some of our most vulnerable residents.
"It's particularly important at this time of year to keep well and warm, and we aim to reduce fuel poverty in Barnsley. We're pleased that so many people have been able to benefit from our support and we encourage others to find out what they're entitled to."
For tips and advice on keeping warm and well this winter, follow http://www.facebook.com/housingandenergybarnsley.