Friday, 07 September 2018 12:01

Autumn Berries

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After the hottest summer for years, the weather is slowly turning colder.  Autumn is coming and the berries are ripening all around.  Our thoughts are starting to turn to how we will keep warm this winter and if we can afford our energy bills.  Some households (around 4 million UK households) are in fuel poverty, unable to afford to live in a warm, dry home.

Fuel poverty causes misery, ill health and premature death in millions of households across the UK with  high energy prices, dwindling household incomes and  low standards of domestic energy efficiency all contributing to a cold homes crisis. People face difficult choices about whether to heat their homes and forgo another household necessity such as food, or spending what they need to keep warm and avoid falling into debt.

 So, in the past couple of weeks we've been looking at groups who help with energy advice and information.

 We featured Beat The Cold who aim to reduce the incidence of fuel poverty and cold-related illness in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire by informing, advising and making referrals for households – through telephone advice, events, talks and displays, and a winter leaflet.  They target disadvantaged households who need to spend more than 10% of their income on fuel, helping them to apply for measures and grants to improve energy efficiency and giving advice on using and paying for fuel and services from other agencies.  They also offer advice on renewable technology and feed-in tariffs.

Advice for households includes:

  • Applying for free or low-cost insulation
  • Using your heating system the best way – to reduce cost and waste
  • Paying for fuel – finding the best tariff and switching companies
  • The Warm Home Discount and Priority Service Registers
  • Fuel debt
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Referral to agencies that specialise in checking benefits
  • Renewables, such as solar pv, solar thermal, heat pumps; and the ways to make them pay

We also looked at Act On Energy who encourage energy conservation by providing free and impartial advice to householders and small businesses in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Coventry, Solihull and the surrounding local areas.  Their website contains useful resources, together with a FAQ section to help people improve insulation and reduce energy usage in their properties.

And finally National Energy Action who are the national charity working to end fuel poverty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  They believe the key to tackling the problem is in improving the energy efficiency of housing and improving  access to energy advice and competitive energy market whilst recognising the impact that welfare reform is having on fuel poverty levels in the UK.

So take a look at the advice offered and keep warm this winter.

Read 81 times Last modified on Friday, 07 September 2018 12:04

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