Affordable Warmth

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

Ask

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?

Assist

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?

Act

Self Care

  • Compare different electricity/gas deals by using a OFGEM 'Confidence Code Accreditation' price comparison service
  • 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