Announcement

Help at hand to stay warm this winter

Pensioners & vulnerable householders across Great Britain are being urged to take advantage of the help available to keep warm this winter

Press Notice: 13/004

Pensioners and vulnerable householders across Great Britain are being urged to take advantage of the help available to keep warm this winter. There are a number of schemes designed to provide support, including money off bills and assistance with central heating and insulation. Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“We know people are struggling with rising energy bills but a warm home should be a given, not a luxury. That’s why we want to make sure everyone is aware of the support available, and anyone who thinks they may be eligible for some insulation or new heating kit should call 0300 123 1234 for further advice.”

Energy Company Obligation

The Government has recently introduced a new Energy Company Obligation alongside the Green Deal aimed both at saving carbon and at getting efficient boilers and insulation into the homes of vulnerable people across Great Britain. Part of this new scheme is specifically targeted at low income households to help them keep warm and save money on energy bills. Householders who think they may be eligible for help can contact the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) on 0300 123 1234 for advice. Warm Front

The last day for new applications to this scheme, which gives households the opportunity to get help to improve the heating or insulation of their home, is 19 January 2013. After then, help and support will be available to a wider group of vulnerable households under the Energy Company Obligation. Any Warm Front applications received by Carillion, the scheme administrator, by 19 January will be processed under the Warm Front scheme. Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the Warm Front scheme should call ESAS on 0300 123 1234.

Warm Home Discount

Energy bill discounts of £130 are being provided to around 1.1million of the most vulnerable pensioners this winter under the Warm Home Discount scheme. The discount has already been given to over 1 million pensioners, but a small number may need to provide some further information before they can receive this. All those eligible for the discount will receive a letter by February 2013. There is also support available for a broader vulnerable group and householders should contact their energy supplier directly to find out more about the help available.

Winter Fuel Payments

Automatic payments are made each year to all those in receipt of the state pension in Great Britain, to help with the cost of energy bills.

Cold Weather Payments

Money is paid to pensioners on pension credit or people on income related benefits who meet certain criteria during periods of severe cold, to help with the cost of energy bills. There is a lot of help available to keep warm this winter, and people can call 0300 123 1234 to get further advice on the specific support available for them. From 28 January people will also be able sign up for a Green Deal, which will transform homes by providing the opportunity to pay for energy efficient measures with the savings on their energy bills.

Notes for editors

  1. Energy Company Obligation is split into three elements, hard to treat homes, affordable warmth and carbon saving communities. This scheme operates across Great Britain and more information can be found here
  2. Warm Front has been running since 2000 and has helped around 2.3 million households to keep warm. This scheme operates in England only and more information on Warm Front can be found here
  3. Warm Home Discount has been up and running since April 2011 and will help around two million low income and vulnerable households this year. This scheme operates across Great Britain and more information can be found here
  4. Winter fuel payments are annual payments for pensioners and are worth up to £300. In 2011/12, 12.6million people received a winter fuel payment, in 9.14million households. More information can be found here
  5. Cold weather payments have already been paid to people affected by sustained cold temperatures this winter, 2012/13. More information can be found here
  6. Government recently consulted on a new definition of fuel poverty to make sure help is targeted at those who need it most. DECC will confirm the way forward following consultation later this year.

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