Wakefield Council is working with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and other partners to offer two schemes to help residents stay warm and reduce energy costs.
Residents who are in arrears with their energy bills may be able to get help through Wakefield Council’s Energy Debt Fund, by receiving a grant to reduce or clear their debt. This is available for a limited time only and provided as part of the Money Smart Scheme, which provides free support with a range of money and debt issues.
The Energy Debt Fund is provided by grants that the Council has secured to support vulnerable low-income households with their energy costs to keep warm and healthy in their homes.
Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Property, said: “We understand that winter can be a difficult and very expensive time for our residents, so I am pleased these schemes will reach out to residents and offer them support.
“Everyone deserves to have a warm and healthy homes so please get in touch if you think we might be able to help you.”
The Council is also offering a Big Heater Amnesty, which gives residents the opportunity to get a new plug-in portable heater FREE of charge if they are using it as their main source of heating and their current heater is old, faulty or broken.
Some may believe it is cheaper to use a portable heater for one room instead of central heating, but this can be dangerous, a risk to life and can be more costly.
The Big Heater Amnesty runs throughout the year but is most important for many during the winter months. As part of the Amnesty, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will deliver Safe and Well visits to provide fire safety advice and support to those individuals who have qualified for a replacement portable heater.
Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “We know that some our residents are facing some really tough times at the moment and some are having to heat one room with a portable heater. This can be expensive, potentially dangerous and a risk to health. This all-round approach will help our residents to be safer in their homes, warmer and spend less on heating.”
Wakefield District Commander for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lee Miller, said: “We work tirelessly to make West Yorkshire safer every single day, and are delighted to be supporting this important project. Everyone should feel safe at home, and we’re so pleased to be able to support this initiative that sees those who are most at risk made even safer – oil filled heaters are a safer option and are more cost effective in the long run.”
Residents can apply for either scheme, or receive more information, by contacting the Money Smart Team on 01924 305 892 email@example.com or the Council’s partners Groundwork Green Doctor on FREEPHONE 0808 168 3547.