Grants available for winter fuel bills

GRANTS of up to £6000 are available to help residents on income related benefits keep save money on energy bills.

Government funded grants of £3,500 are available to homeowners and private tenants receiving certain income-related benefits. Grants up to £6,000 are available in areas where there is no mains gas.

The Warm Front scheme provides a package of insulation and heating measures tailored to meet individual needs.

It aims to alleviate the number of people in fuel poverty - defined as households that spend more than 10% of their income on keeping warm.

Measures include loft and cavity-wall insulation, draughtproofing, hot-water-tank jackets and additional heating solutions such as installing a new central heating system, or repairing an existing one.

Keeping warm is important, especially in the colder weather, when some people find themselves spending more time at home, said a spokeswoman for the Warm Front scheme.

"Warm Front will be ending by March 2013 and because of the underspend last scheme year, we want to ensure those who are eligible should apply before the scheme ends."

These improvements are designed to help people keep warmer, healthier and more comfortable in their home.

Residents who think they may be eligible are invited to apply as soon as possible.

An appointment will be made for a home visit by a technical surveyor to discuss suitable energy efficiency and heating measures.

"You could claim a grant for heating and insulation if you own your home or rent it from a private landlord, and you are on certain benefits."

Eligible benefits include:

* Pension Credit
* Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (that includes a work-related activity or support component.)
* Income Support Allowance (ISA) OR
* Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), with one of the following;
     - A Pensioner Premium
     - A Disability or Severe Disability Premium (DP)
     - Disabled Child Premium (DCP)
     - Child Tax Credit (which includes a disability or severe disability element for a child or young person)
     - A child under the age of five living with you

"Warm Front will organise and pay for all work up to the value of the grant," said the spokeswoman.

The scheme is managed by Carillion Energy Services. For details, call free on 0800 316 2814 or apply online at to find out if you're eligible.


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