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16,000 Shropshire households at risk of fuel poverty

Free first time central heating installation is now available for eligible households, due to a new grant scheme to help people reduce their heating costs.

Managed by Shropshire Council, the Warmer Homes Shropshire initiative, launched in May 2020, offers grants for eligible households across Shropshire. The scheme is open to homeowners, as well as private tenants and their landlords.

Grants are available over the next two years to more than 300 households who don’t currently have central heating, many of whom rely on expensive and inefficient heating systems such as night storage heaters or portable electric heating. If a property needs to be connected to the gas supply to install a central heating system, this will also be covered by the scheme.

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said:- “Warmer Homes Shropshire provides much needed support and advice to householders over the next two years, helping residents stay warm and safe in their homes. It is fantastic to see partners coming together across the county, working to tackle the challenge of affordable warmth.

"Shropshire Council is committed to helping people afford the energy they need, and reduce the health impacts of cold homes. This project is a welcome step forward to helping us to achieve this.”

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said:- “We’re delighted to be providing funding to Shropshire Council through the Warm Homes Fund programme. We are delighted to be working with the partnership to provide solutions to the challenges associated with homes living in fuel poverty.”

More than 16,000 households in Shropshire are believed to be in or at risk of fuel poverty, meaning they struggle to heat their home and stay warm affordably.

In addition to the grant, the council’s Keep Shropshire Warm scheme can offer a range of energy advice to help residents make their homes more efficient, cheaper and easier to heat, including to households in rural areas, where gas central heating may not be an option.

Oliver Rothwell, Project Manager at Keep Shropshire Warm, said: “This funding allows us to reach out to many more households in Shropshire. Not only are we able to help to install first time heating for those that qualify, we can assist many more households with a range of energy advice and support over the phone and online. I’d encourage anyone who thinks we could help to get in touch – and for residents to think of any friends or family members who could benefit from the scheme.”

Working in partnership with Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Citizens Advice Shropshire, residents will also be supported to access benefit advice and support and maximise their income.

For more information and to apply visit http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/warmer-homes-shropshire or call 0333 202 4481.

The team at Keep Shropshire Warm are available on 0800 112 3743 and can discuss the scheme in more detail, help residents apply and provide advice on any energy topic, big or small. If you are in a rural area and don’t have central heating, the team could still be able to help.

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