As the cold winter weather finally starts to arrive, help is at hand for residents struggling with rising fuel bills.
Many people – particularly senior citizens on fixed incomes – face a tricky balancing act of staying warm and healthy while keeping an eye on the cost of heating.
Drop-in sessions have been organised at libraries where council officers can give advice which could result in lower bills.
The Healthier Homes project was set up with public health funding to help anyone whose health could be at risk in homes which may be cold, damp or dangerous.
“Our drop-in sessions are really aimed at those who haven’t thought about switching energy supplier, and who may not have access to the internet,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
“We have all the information about the best tariffs, and we’ve already had a good take-up of people seeking advice locally.”
Sessions will be held on:
- Friday 23 December, Hammersmith Library, Shepherds Bush Road, 10am-12 noon
- Thursday 19 January, Hammersmith Library, 10am-6pm
- Friday 3 February, Shepherds Bush Library, Wood Lane, 10am-12 noon
- Friday 17 February, Hammersmith Library, 10am-12 noon
Grants are available for people with inadequate heating or insulation, those who find the cost of heating is too high, anyone with serious damp issues or with broken steps or banisters, or who have issues with dangerous electrical installations.
Residents can either call in at one of the free sessions (please bring a recent energy bill), or can ring Healthier Homes with specific questions on 020 7341 5721 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice can be given to owner occupiers and tenants about installing, upgrading and repairing heating systems.
“Issues such as dangerous electrics do crop up; there are still some horror stories,” added Cllr Fennimore. “But we have an enforcement officer who can assist with rented properties. Just turn up at the drop-in session, and we’ll do our best to help.”
Advice can also be given about fuel debt relief and income maximisation, to ensure residents are receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled.
Healthier Homes can also organise energy efficiency visits, install draught-proofing, advise on accident prevention and make referrals for specialised grants.