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Council joins partners to improve homes heating

High temperatures this week, but thinking ahead to colder times

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While it may be midsummer weather outside, the county council is already thinking of colder times ahead by working with E.ON and Age UK to help people across Leicestershire improve their heating.

The work involves the installation of 500 first-time gas central heating systems in eligible residents’ homes.

The Leicestershire project follows a successful funding bid by the county council to the Warm Homes Fund.

The fund was established by National Grid along with community interest company, Affordable Warmth Solutions, who now administer the fund.

In addition to the first-time gas central heating, eligible residents may be able to receive free insulation measures for their homes, and can also benefit from free energy efficiency advice and support on how to better manage their income from Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland. 

Residents must meet certain criteria to be eligible - but they do not have to be an E.ON customer to benefit. 

The contract agreement was approved earlier this year by county council cabinet members as the project aligns with the council’s aim to reduce excess winter deaths and ill-health caused by cold homes. 

Over the past two years, the Warm Homes Service, which is part of public health at County Hall, has provided more than 3,700 Leicestershire households with free, impartial advice to help them stay warm at home and keep their energy bills down.

Many of these households have benefited from the support needed to switch energy supplier. On average, these households have saved £233 a year, with the highest saving for a single household being £1,341 a year.

In addition, over 1,900 referrals have been made to access grants, benefits, energy discounts and related services to help make heating homes more affordable, easier to manage and safe.

Residents can also benefit from: 

  • Help with understanding boiler and heating controls;
  • Help in sense of energy bills and bill discounts;
  • Debt relief support;
  • Energy efficiency advice
  • Referrals to other relevant services. 

We’re committed as a council to tackling fuel poverty and another real benefit of this agreement is that it doesn’t affect the budget within our Warm Homes service

Nigel Dewbery, Director of E.ON’s Obligation Delivery and Installation Services business, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Leicestershire County Council to improve housing across the region.  

“Around four million UK households are in fuel poverty and unable to heat their home to the temperature needed to stay warm and healthy. Schemes such as this one have been designed to tackle the issue by providing free gas connections and first-time central heating systems to those who are eligible across the county.

“This will not only ensure residents are saving money on their heating bills but further demonstrates our commitment as an energy company to support the UK’s actions to clean the air by reducing carbon emissions and the impact we all have on the environment.” 

Jeremy Nesbitt, managing director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said: “We are excited about this investment from National Grid and we are delighted to support Leicestershire County Council and its partners to fund the scheme to address fuel poverty across the region.

"Solving the issues associated with fuel poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Warm Homes Fund will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout Great Britain.”

The Warm Homes service is available all year round, even during the summer months and switching to a cheaper energy tariff will save money at any time of the year.

As Covid-19 restrictions reduce, E.ON are proceeding with surveying and system installation while working safely and responsibly and adhering to Government guidelines on social distancing. E.ON will also discuss clients’ circumstances to make sure they are comfortable with the work going ahead.

  • For Warm Homes advice, or to register interest in the Warm Homes Fund offer, please call First Contact Plus on 0116 305 4286 or see the Warm Homes Fund website.
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