Help heating homes this winter

6 February 2019


Waltham Forest Town Hall and the Magistrates Court

Residents who are struggling to heat their homes this winter can get help from Waltham Forest Council and local charity The HEET Project, who have been awarded £500,000 to tackle fuel poverty as the temperature starts to drop.

The award, from Affordable Warmth Solutions’ Warm Homes Fund, will support up to 200 households who are experiencing fuel poverty. It will fund first time gas central heating systems for residents who currently use electric heating or gas fires. The scheme can also fund a free gas connection to their property.

As part of the project residents will also be able to benefit from energy efficiency measures including loft and cavity wall insulation, free home energy checks, and practical advice on how to stay warm and save money on heating over the winter.

Cllr Louise Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “When people have a safe, decent roof over their head and warm house in which to live, they have the confidence and support they need to succeed and make the most of their life chances.

“We are determined to work to help those who may be struggling in the face of ever-rising fuel bills. It is a tragedy that in modern-day Britain, people are having to choose between heating and eating.”

Residents in receipt of certain benefits or who meet the low income threshold will be eligible for the project. The funding is available to eligible owner occupiers and social and private tenants with the agreement of their landlord.

Tom Ruxton, of the HEET Project, said: A free gas connection and installation of an efficient gas central heating system can halve a household’s heating bill. Adequate warmth is essential to good health and can also help to reduce problems of condensation and mould growth in your home.”

If you think you may benefit from advice, or qualify for support installing a new gas heating system, please contact The HEET Project on 020 8520 1900 for more information and to register your interest.

What is fuel poverty?

A 2018 government report found that nearly one-in-ten households in the UK were experiencing fuel poverty. But what does this actually mean?

A household can be described as experiencing fuel poverty if it needs to spend 10 per cent of its income on fuel to keep occupants warm and healthy. Suggested temperatures are around 21C in a living room, and 18C in other occupied rooms. It also takes into account the costs of hot water, lighting, and appliances.