Lancashire residents are being encouraged to winter-proof their homes before the cold kicks in.
Homeowners and tenants across the county are now able to apply into a new fund to provide first time central heating systems to properties across the county.
The £2.25m pot is expected to supply and fit 900 new central heating systems before the start of the autumn, with “fuel poor” residents living in all areas of the red rose county eligible to apply.
The Central Heating Fund, secured by the Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) partnership, will be managed by Blackburn with Darwen Council, but will be open to all qualifying residents from the 14 local council areas in Lancashire.
Speaking on behalf of the CHiL partnership, Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The weather might seem mild now but it is the perfect time to start getting your home ready for winter.
“When winter comes it can be a killer. Not only do thousands of people struggle with the crippling bills but many also suffer from serious illnesses that are brought on by living in a cold house.
“We can do something to fix that and by working as a partnership across the county the CHiL programme is helping people in fuel poverty to get free and subsidised boilers as well as better insulation in their homes.
“By offering first time central heating systems to people who need them, people can make sure that they are able to stay warm over the winter without it breaking the bank.
“There are only a limited number of grants available however, so people need to act fast to make sure they don’t miss out.”
To qualify, homeowners or tenants must be classed as “fuel poor”, meaning that the cost of keeping their house warm knocks them below the poverty line – which is the case for around 71,000 homes in Lancashire1.
Residents receiving benefits such as Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit may also be eligible.
Following an assessment, you will be contacted by either Firefly Energi, who is the managing agent for the scheme or Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to arrange for the new system to be installed.
The Cosy Homes in Lancashire scheme was originally set up by all of Lancashire’s local authorities to help households get the most out of the Government’s Green Deal and ECO schemes. These have been designed to help insulate homes and make them more energy efficient. This in turn saves money on bills and helps people keep warm and well.
So far, 1,281 households have benefitted from the scheme through a range of different measures. The scheme was also recently awarded a coveted Ashden Award for its good work across Lancashire.
Experienced local company Firefly Energi is managing the scheme with a number of trusted local installers responsible for fitting the heating and insulation measures into homes.
Private landlords and organisations working with clients who could benefit are also encouraged to get in touch.
Beyond the core work of heating and insulation measures, the scheme will also develop offers for households around renewable energy technologies and energy tariff switching.
To find out more about CHiL, call 0330 606 1488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or more information.