Mary backs free heating help campaign
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh is backing a campaign by Consumer Focus, Citizens Advice, Age UK and National Children’s Bureau to raise awareness of free heating help available in to people in Wakefield. Mary is urging people in Wakefield worried about their energy bills to find out if they are eligible for free heating and insulation improvements from Warm Front.
The call comes as new research from Consumer Focus shows that around 610,000 households across Yorkshire plan to cut back on heating their home this winter due to worries about affording their energy bills. Yet millions of pounds worth of help is being left unclaimed under Warm Front, a scheme to help the poorest households in England to make their homes warmer and cut their energy bills.
Over 2011-12 the Warm Front scheme was under-spent by over £50 million. The number of applications for the scheme fell sharply after being over-subscribed in 2010-11. Claim rates are low again this year.
Mary Creagh said: “Rising energy bills are a big worry for people in Wakefield and the poorest households who can least afford it, are the hardest hit by high prices. It is worrying that so many people plan to cut back on their heating to make ends meet. No-one should have to make the choice between heating and eating. I would urge anyone worried about their bills to contact their local Age UK or Citizens Advice to find out if they can get help from Warm Front to help them be warm, well and wealthier this winter.”
The eligibility criteria for help under the Warm Front scheme is widening from 12 September, so even if someone has been turned down before they may be able to get help this year. The heating and insulation improvements Warm Front offers could help thousands of households to stay warm and well and save up to £600 off their energy bills each year.
People can find out if they can get free help from Warm Front by calling 0800 316 2805 or by visiting the Wakefield Citizens Advice Bureau on King Street in the city centre. Further information and an online application form are also available on http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Energyandwatersaving/DG_10018661