As part of its drive to mark Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Friday 3 December, North East Lincolnshire Council and its regeneration partner EQUANS is encouraging those struggling with energy bills to get help.
Latest Government statistics show that 2.53 million people are in fuel poverty in England (roughly 11 per cent of the population), with that figure set to rise as a result of the winter energy crisis.
Charities and campaigners are warning that 400,000 more UK households could struggle to pay their fuel bills this winter. And North East Lincolnshire will be no exception.
“Our message is don’t struggle alone,” says Councillor Callum Procter, portfolio holder for economic growth, housing and tourism. “You don’t need to choose between heating and eating and it’s really important all of our residents live in a safe and warm home.
“It’s an issue that’s become magnified due to many older and clinically vulnerable people staying home more often, coupled with the rising costs of gas and electricity this winter.”
On average, 10,000 people die in the UK each year because of health conditions caused or worsened by living in a cold home, and fuel poverty is a known risk factor for suicide.
Get in touch
The home energy team is urging residents to get in touch for advice and support if they’re finding it tough to keep up energy payments. If you’re in need, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/housing-grants-and-loans or call the home energy team on (01472) 326 296, option 5.
Cllr Procter adds: “Those who were already struggling to keep their property warm may find they are in desperate need of support, while others who might not have previously faced problems will perhaps approach us for the first time. If you’re living in a cold home, or worried if you can afford your next heating bill, I urge you to get in touch with the team today.”
To qualify for funding, residents need to meet Government criteria and it’s dependent on the availability of various funds.
Top tips to cut energy bills
- Don’t leave electrical appliances on standby
- Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
- Turn off lights when leaving a room
- Only fill the kettle with the water you need
- Layer up your clothing when you are cold
- Ensure your property is insulated
- Take monthly meter readings and submit to your fuel supplier (if you don’t have a smart meter)
- Wash your clothes at 30 or even 20 degrees and on faster cycles
- Educate your family, partner or housemates on energy saving
- Try not to block radiators with curtains or furniture
For more details on fuel poverty in the UK, visit www.nea.org.uk/member-of-the-public