Keeping Barnsley warm and well this winter

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Barnsley Council has launched its 2017 Warm Homes Campaign with help from National Energy Action (NEA), a charity dedicated to tackling fuel poverty­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­1.

The campaign aims to highlight some of the solutions available locally, for people who are struggling to heat their homes over the winter period.

The launch took place at Barnsley Market’s Meat and Fish entrance and in the Better Barnsley shop on Friday 8 December. The council’s Housing and Energy team were joined by Dan Jarvis MP, the Mayor of Barnsley – Cllr Jeff Ennis, Cllr Roy Miller Cabinet Spokesperson for Place and a representative from NEA.

A range of organisations attended including; My Best Life Barnsley, Age UK Barnsley, The Royal Voluntary Service, Berneslai Homes and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue who provided hints, tips and advice to residents on how to keep warm, stay well and save money this winter.

A representative from the council’s energy efficiency scheme, Better Homes Barnsley, was also present to discuss energy saving. Measures available for homeowners and private tenants include new or replacement oil and gas boilers and cavity wall and loft insulation. As part of the campaign, Better Homes Barnsley is also able to offer a limited number of free gas central heating systems. The scheme is open to eligible households who own or privately rent their home.

Dan Jarvis MP said: “As we move into the coldest part of the year, it is incredibly important that we support people living in cold and damp homes. Barnsley Council is working very closely with a range of charities and other organisations to tackle the persistent problem of fuel poverty in Barnsley, which affects thousands of people across our borough and can prove fatal for the elderly and vulnerable.

“No one should have to suffer because of worries about fuel bills. I would urge anyone struggling to heat their home this winter to get in touch with the council or Better Homes Barnsley to see what support is available to them.”

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “Living in a cold, damp home can lead to poor health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as older people, young children, and those with long-term sickness and disabilities. 11.3 per cent of residents in Barnsley are believed to be in fuel poverty, which equates to 11,495 households² across the borough.

“We don’t want residents to feel they have to struggle during the cold weather when there is support available in Barnsley. During the Warm Homes launch we managed to help one lady whose boiler had stopped working and was struggling to find the money to replace it. We also showed another resident how she could save £180 on her yearly energy bills.

“I urge anyone living in a cold home or concerned about their energy bills to please get in touch to see how we can help.”

During the next couple of months the Housing and Energy team will be out and about around Barnsley holding pop-up shops and providing energy supplier switching advice.

For more information on upcoming events and tips and advice on keeping warm and well this winter visit: barnsley.gov.uk/help2heat or follow facebook.com/housingandenergybarnsley.

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