News Date: Monday 12th January 2009
WARM HOMES CAMPAIGN NEWS RELEASE
Tim Loughton MP backs national campaign for affordable warmth for all this winter
Tim Loughton has backed an annual drive by fuel poverty campaigners to raise awareness of how energy efficiency measures can make homes warmer, cheaper and healthier to live in; and what assistance is available from the government.
Tim Loughton Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham said, “I am delighted to be able to support the Warm Homes Campaign 2008. This winter is going to be a difficult time for many households in the UK. High energy prices have driven the number of fuel poor in the UK to over 5 million. Improving energy efficiency is a powerful and sustainable way to bring people’s energy bills down and make homes healthier to live in. The most important message of this campaign is that there is help out there for vulnerable households. I urge everyone to contact the Warm Front team on 0800 408 2095 to find out if they are eligible for funding.”
Tim Loughton is one of over 70 MPs, MSP and Welsh Assembly Members across the UK who have pledged their support for the annual Warm Homes Campaign - organised by fuel poverty charities National Energy Action (NEA) and Energy Action Scotland (EAS) - to raise awareness of the problem of fuel poverty and the various grants and schemes that are available to vulnerable households struggling to heat their homes.
The campaign aims to cut the number of excess winter deaths and reduce cold-related illnesses by raising awareness of the help available to people who cannot afford to heat their homes in winter. The Campaign, which runs from 18 November to 1 December, is organised in association with eaga, and supported by the newly formed Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Cold and damp homes affect people’s health and wellbeing and are linked to serious cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. The elderly, young children and people with disabilities are particularly at risk. With high energy prices forecast to continue now until spring, higher food bills and the credit squeeze, this winter could be a perilous time for vulnerable households.
Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of NEA, said,
“1 in 5 households in the UK will face poor health, isolation, debt and worry due to fuel poverty this winter. In the light of recent punishing energy price rises, this winter promises to be one of the most difficult in a long time for so many households.
“Our message is simple. It doesn’t have to be this way and there is funding and advice available to help households make their homes more energy efficient, cheaper and healthier. Making people aware of the support that is available is half the battle.”
Norman Kerr, Director, Energy Action Scotland said,
“During the Warm Homes Campaign in Scotland we will be highlighting the need to make sure that assistance is getting to the people who need it most, such as those most vulnerable to the effects of cold homes and on a low income.
“In addition, we will be asking both the UK and Scottish governments to plan now for the early introduction into the grant schemes of newer technologies, such as micro-renewables, for the many hard-to-treat homes that are off the mains gas grid or that can’t take cavity or loft insulation because of how they were constructed.”
Paul Varley, Divisional Managing Director at eaga, said,
“Warm Homes Campaign provides an important opportunity to raise awareness of fuel poverty whilst also making people aware of the help that is out there. For low income households help is at hand through a range of measures. For example, making sure they’re claiming the benefits they’re entitled to through Benefit Entitlement Checks, making their homes more energy efficient, and there’s lots of cheap and even free ways of doing this, and of course, by maximising grant availability through Government Schemes such as Warm Front.”
NEA is a registered charity dedicated to ending fuel poverty. If you would like to support NEA, you can do so at http://www.nea.org.uk/donate/
1. The NEA and Energy Action Scotland Warm Homes Campaign 2008 press pack is available at http://www.nea.org.uk/assets/PDF-documents/WHC-2008-Press-Pack.pdf
2. A key aim of the campaign is to inform MPs, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), Welsh Assembly Members (AMs) and other decision makers, directly, about the health problems caused by living in cold, damp homes and the benefits that increased investment in energy efficiency can bring. There is a week of action from 18 November to 1 December 2008, with politicians visiting constituents who have benefited from energy efficiency grant schemes.
3. The Warm Homes Campaign is NEA and Energy Action Scotland's annual campaign targeted at the public and the country's decision makers to raise awareness of fuel poverty and the benefits of improved energy efficiency.
4. NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. For further details visit http://www.nea.org.uk
5. Warm Front in England is the primary source of grants for energy efficiency improvements for vulnerable households. Warm Front offers grants of up to £2,700. For more information about Warm Front call freephone 0800 408 2095. This scheme only covers owner-occupiers and private sector tenants.
6. In Scotland, NEA works with Energy Action Scotland, which is co-ordinating visits for Members of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish MPs. For more info visit http://www.eas.org.uk/
7. The Scottish Government schemes are the Central Heating Programme and the Warm Deal. The Central Heating programme provides a central heating system, insulation and energy advice up to a value of £3,500 for pensioner households. The Warm Deal provides £500 of insulation and energy advice for people of all ages who are on one of a range of state benefits.
8. The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) is the Welsh Assembly Government funded initiative, which provides homes in Wales with a package of heating and insulation improvements up to the value of £3,600.
9. eaga is the UK’s largest residential energy efficiency provider. The company is a leader in the provision of innovative and sustainable services, products and solutions that address the environmental, social and energy efficiency objectives of Government and the private sector both nationally and internationally.
10. Fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort.
11. Warm Front is a scheme funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which provides grant contributions to make houses warmer, healthier and more energy efficient. If you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, own your own home or rent if from a private landlord, you can claim a contribution of £2,700 towards central heating, loft and draught proofing or £4,000 towards oil based systems.