A pensioner who got thousands of pounds worth of help to fit his home with new central heating has urged others to apply for assistance through Leicestershire County Council’s Warm Home Fund.
The Warm Homes Fund was set up help eligible households get better heating and help reduce their energy bills
Noel Balfe, 78, from Hinckley applied to the initiative and now has a heating system worth around £3,600.
He applied after receiving a flyer through the post and speaking with an E.ON representative.
E.ON and Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland are working with the county council to get people to apply to the scheme.
Previously, Noel had a gas fire and warmed his house using a single storage heater in the kitchen.
This meant that it was difficult to efficiently warm the rest of his home and electricity bills were high.
The Warm Homes Fund was able to fully fund the installation of first-time gas central heating including a new boiler, making Noel’s home more energy efficient and warmer throughout the winter months, all for free.
Noel said: “From application to fitting, I have found the Warm Homes Fund to be an easy process. “The team that installed my boiler and central heating were experienced and competent.
“The new system is better than the single electric heater I had before. My home feels much cosier to be in this winter.
“I’d encourage anybody who is eligible to apply and see how they can benefit.”
As part of Warm Home Funds, eligible Leicestershire residents can also benefit from free home improvements including cavity wall and loft insulation, and grants to help repair broken heating.
Central heating has added health benefits for those that live there. It helps to reduce damp and mould growth which become more prevalent throughout the colder months.
With energy prices rising, households on a low income are encouraged to check their entitlement for Warm Home Discount, a £140 discount on winter energy bills, by speaking directly with their electricity supplier.
The Leicestershire Warm Homes Fund scheme is established by National Grid and Affordable Warmth Solutions CIC is open to private tenants and homeowners and closes in March 2022.
Applications must be received by January 2022 to be considered for the Fund so the county council is urging residents not to miss out.
Director of Residential Solutions at E.ON UK Nigel Dewbery said: “This is a time-limited offer, and for those who qualify it presents a real opportunity to replace your inefficient home heating with a system that’s better for the environment and your budget.
“It’s important to know that you don’t have to be an E.ON customer now or in the future to benefit from the scheme.”
With Warm Homes funding ending in 2022, Leicestershire is moving to other greener measures.
As part of this move, another energy efficiency scheme that the county council provides is the Green Homes Grant.
Residents can benefit from home improvements such as the installation of double glazing and energy efficient doors and adopting solar energy which help to reduce energy bills and improve sustainability.
Councillor Louise Richardson, the council's cabinet lead member for public health, said: “The Warm Homes Fund enables Leicestershire County Council to support residents while also helping to reduce our carbon emissions countywide.
“I am pleased that residents have benefited not only from the Warm Homes discount but also from home insulation improvements.
"These help to make homes more energy efficient and keep people warmer as cold winter weather arrives.”
To find out more about energy efficient grants available across Leicestershire, visit: