Cold and damp homes, which are inadequately heated and insulated, have repeatedly been linked to ill health and early deaths amongst the most vulnerable people in society. Cold and damp homes can lead to children losing days at school. This can affect their examination results and put them at a disadvantage in their future lives.
A person may be fuel poor if they are below average income and have higher that average heating costs to meet their needs. There is no single cause of fuel poverty; it arises from a combination of 3 main factors. These are low household income, poor heating and thermal insulation standards to properties and high fuel costs.
The good news is that there are many schemes in place that can support people to insulate their homes, get advice on the cheapest electricity and gas provision and better understand how much energy they are using.
Very Brief Intervention
How easily do you find it to keep your home warm, particularly in cold/winter periods?
How easy or difficult is it for you to afford your energy bills?
If you find it difficult, have you ever had any advice on how you can reduce them?
Are you aware of the schemes that exist to keep your home from losing the heat you use?
Did you know that your local council may be able to provide free support and advice on how you can cut the cost of heating your home depending on your circumstances?
Did you know that you may be able to save money on your energy bills* just by switching your gas and electricity supplier (or asking your current supplier if you are on their cheapest rate) - particularly if you haven't switched supplier in the last 2 years, would you like some information on this?
* Average saving estimated by OFGEM as £158 by switching to the cheapest deal on the market (From HM Government, A simple guide to accessing help and information 'Helping consumers with energy)
Did you know that you can check if you are entitled to any support towards making your home more energy efficient, would you like some further information on this?
- Compare different electricity/gas deals by using a OFGEM 'Confidence Code Accreditation' price comparison service
- The Citizen Advice Guide has a useful guide on 'How to Compare Energy Tariffs'
- You can get help and advice on how you could benefit from heating and insulation measures from the Energy Advice Service on 0300 1231234
- Your energy supplier may provide a service called the 'Warm Home Discount scheme' which pays £140 either to your electricity account or vouchers to top up your electricity meter. You will need to contact your electricity supplier to see if you meet their eligibility criteria
- People aged 60 or over, disabled people or those who suffer from a chronic illness, are entitled to a range of services, by signing up for free to their energy suppliers Priority Service Register. The Priority Service Register has also been recently extended to include:
- Customers with certain mental health conditions which impact on them understanding their bill
- Customers who cannot top up their pre-payment meter due to injury
- Temporary circumstances where a customer needs extra support for a limited amount of time
- Details of how to join can be found on the reverse of your energy bill
- If you don't know who your current gas and electricity supplier is, this can be checked by contacting:
- For Gas - Meter Point Reference Line - 0870 6081524
- For Electricity - Northern Powergrid - 0845 0707172
- Better Homes Yorkshire on 0808 1592909 has been created to help residents across Yorkshire pay less for energy and live in healthier, warmer homes. Residents in participating Local Authority area will be able to take advantage of the latest Government funded options to make efficiency improvement works to their homes, this is open to homeowners, private tenants and landlords in the following councils: Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Barnsley, Wakefield, York, Craven, Harrogate and Selby
- If you are experiencing difficulties paying your gas/or electricity bill or have an energy debt then you should contact your supplier in the first instance. Other impartial advice is available from the National debtline 0808 808 4000 or from the StepChange debt Charity 0800 138 1111.
Preparing for Colder Weather
- From keeping your house warm to protecting yourself from common ailments, find out how to stay healthy this winter on NHS Choices.
Local Support and Contact Details
All Barnsley residents
Details of national and local support and advice is available on our webpages:
Owner occupiers and private renters
Better Homes Barnsley
Offers heating and insulation measures to homeowners, landlords and private rented tenants to help residents live in warm and healthy homes. Grants available to Barnsley residents subject to availability and dependent on the resident’s circumstances. For more information, or to make a referral contact Better Homes Barnsley
Tel: 0808 1590481 or 0113 8346794
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Housing and Energy Team
For more general or complex enquiries relating to Barnsley residents
Tel: 01126 787950
Bernesali Homes manage council properties on behalf of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Tel: General Enquiries 01226 775555 and Repairs Hotline 01226 787878
Housing Association tenants
Contact the tenant’s landlord directly to find out what is available.
Calderdale MBC – Housing energy action team
The Council’s Housing Energy Action Team (HEAT) can help owner occupiers and tenants in privately rented properties make their homes warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to heat.
Tel: (01422) 288001
The Energy Team at Doncaster Council
The Energy Team at Doncaster Council can provide free advice and support to Doncaster residents, including helping people to switch provider and save money on energy bills.
Contact The Energy team at:
Tel: 01302 737053
Doncaster Adult Social Services and Wellbeing Team
For assistance or advice with support and care arrangements you can find lots of detailed information via:
Tel: 01302 737391
East Riding Council
How can I save money on my fuel bills?
Different utility companies can charge different rates for supplying electricity and gas to your home. You may find a cheaper rate by changing your supplier or payment method. Various websites offer impartial advice on different tariffs available and explain how to change supplier.
YORSwitch is a collective energy switch scheme run by the Council to register please visit or further details can be obtained by calling the Council on (01482) 393939.
What energy efficiency grants are available?
- The Council are currently working with npower to offer grants for cavity and loft insulation, new boilers and heating systems if you live in a privately owned property. To receive more information please complete a private housing service request (opens in new window), or telephone the council on (01482) 396301.
- The Central Heating Fund (CHF) is an initiative funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, delivered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, npower and the National Energy Action Charity. The CHF aims to install 260 gas central heating systems across the local authority area into homes that are not fully centrally heated. Grants will be available to eligible households who either own or rent their home from a private landlord on a first come, first served basis. Your home must be able to be connected to the mains gas network and your present heating system must be either storage heaters, coal, portable heaters or just a gas fire. Other eligibility criteria will also apply.
You can register your interest in the scheme by emailing the energy efficiency team or telephone the council on (01482) 396301.
Social Prescribing Service
Feel like no one has time to listen to you? The Social Prescribing service provides a totally confidential service to discuss the things that affect you and your health and well being, it will then work with and support you to access appropriate local services, groups and amenities to help you improve your situation.
Situated in the majority of GP practices, the Link workers will listen and help you to arrive at the best solution for you, It can advise and support you with a wide variety of issues and can be accessed via a participating GP surgery without a referral.
If you want more information or details of how you can access the service please telephone: 0800 9177752 or email: email@example.com
or call your nearest Social Prescribing Link Worker:
Bridlington: 07816863639 / 07970151668 / 07970155722
Beverley and Driffield: 07973 895011
Withernsea and Hornsea: 07515788266
Hedon: 07702 975417
Market Weighton and Pocklington: 07973894829
Hull Warm Zone
Hull Warm Zone can provide help to reduce the cost of keeping warm by providing grants, advice and support. Home owners and private tenants can access funding for - cavity wall and loft insulation, central heating systems and boiler replacements.
Tel: 01482 300300 / 01482 612908
If you live in a council property HWZ can flag up issues with HCC's Housing Department on your behalf.
Information on how to keep your house warm and save money.
Better Homes Kirklees
Better Homes Yorkshire has been created to help residents across Yorkshire pay less for energy and live in healthier, warmer homes.
Tel: 0800 597 1500 or 0113 897 0977
Home Plus (Leeds)
Home Plus (Leeds) is a new service aimed at enabling and maintaining independent living through improving health at home, helping to prevent falls and cold related health conditions.
Tel: 0113 2406009
Better Homes Yorkshire
Better Homes Leeds on 0808 1592909 has been created to help residents across Yorkshire pay less for energy and live in healthier, warmer homes. Residents in Leeds will be able to take advantage of the latest Government funded options to make efficiency improvement works to their homes, this is open to homeowners, private tenants and landlords. http://www.betterhomesyorkshire.co.uk/leeds
White Rose Energy
White Rose Energy is a partnership between Leeds City Council and Robin Hood Energy, a not-for-profit energy company that the council has elected to endorse, through a competitive process. Ring the freephone number on 0800 022 3553 or check online at https://www.whiteroseenergy.co.uk/about-us
Home Energy (North East Lincolnshire Council)
Is the person struggling to pay your energy bills? Is the person choosing to heat your home or feed your family? Is the person living in a cold home? Does the person have inadequate heating & Insulation?
If they have answered 'yes' to any of these questions they may be entitled to help from the Home Energy Team
Tel: 01472 326296 (Option 5)
The Wellbeing Service (North East Lincolnshire Council)
Tel: 01472 325500
Affordable warmth assistance for vulnerable households and details of how to improve energy efficiency within the home, contact North Lincolnshire Council Home Assistance Team.
Tel: 01724 297000
Information and advice for older people on affordable warmth options as well as local schemes when available to provide practical support, home visiting benefits advice service to increase income for over 65's. Handy person service to support fitting energy efficient measures.
Tel: 01507 524242
Lincs 4 Warmer HomesLincs 4 Warmer Homes is Greater Lincolnshire’s partnership scheme between local authorities across the region, offering energy efficiency improvements and advice. A government funded scheme to help replace existing inefficient boilers or insulation in the home, for this service - please complete the Lincs 4 Warmer Homes enquiry form via the on-line mechanism.
Warm and Well in North Yorkshire
Warm & Well in North Yorkshire raises awareness of the impact of cold homes on our health and wellbeing, offers practical solutions to reduce fuel poverty, and supports people and communities to stay warm and well in winter.
The projects services are available across the 7 districts of North Yorkshire and include:
- Practical and financial help to stay warm and well at home.
- Talks, events and training for residents and frontline workers.
- Campaigns, resources and tops tips on a wide range of winter issues.
Referrals can be made into the project if someone is living in or at risk of a cold home or fuel poverty, struggling to afford their energy bills, or worried about winter. These can be made by professionals and by individuals themselves.
Warm & Well in North Yorkshire is a partnership of organisations from across the charity, public and private sectors. For further information about the project call the helpline number below.
Tel: 01609 767555
To refer yourself or someone else for support please complete this form.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
The Council can give you help and advice about affordable warmth for your home.
Tel: 0800 0731311
South Yorkshire Energy Centre
Free advice on reducing energy costs and keeping warm. Drop-in Thursday mornings. Advice on lowering fuel bills, energy saving appliances and insulation.
Tel: (0114) 393 9981 (extension 3)
Address: Heeley City Farm, Richards Road, Sheffield S2 3DT
Energy Advice Team - Wakefield Council
This website contains a list wealth of information and links to Affordable Warmth and Health and Energy Saving Tips.
Tel: 0344 9020 222
Address: Home Energy Team
PO Box 700
City of York Council
To learn how to reduce the amount of money you spend on energy and create a warmer, healthy home please contact the telephone number below or visit the website for further information.
Tel: 01904 551550