Households in fuel poverty in Adur and Worthing are set to receive a free home visit from an energy advisor who will give them advice on how to save money and stay warm this winter.
Adur and Worthing councils has joined with Local Energy Advice Partnership to launch the scheme, which they hope will potentially save households hundreds of pounds a year – as well as improve the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable residents.
More than 30,000 households across West Sussex (8.4 per cent) are in fuel poverty, according to the councils.
The new scheme will see eligible households receive a free home visit from a qualified energy advisor who will offer top tips on lowering bills, improving energy efficiency, accessing grants and benefits and managing debt.
Councillor David Simmons, Adur District Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Many people face difficult choices when considering whether to keep their home warm or spend limited income on other essentials.
“We recognise that failing to keep the home warm can cause the health of many local people to suffer.
“This programme is designed to provide advice from an expert who will visit their home at no cost to those who qualify, and where possible also fit money saving devices, again at no cost, to help them manage their income more effectively.
“Prevention is the best way forward, and I recommend that you take this opportunity to find out more.”
The scheme was launched at Worthing Town Hall on Monday.
The three-year programme is available to those in private-rented, public-rented and owner-occupied homes.
It is open to a wide number of residents, including people on a low income, those with a range of health conditions and individuals classed as vulnerable, such as victims of domestic abuse, recently bereaved and recently classed as homeless.
Anyone who finds it difficult to heat their home to at least 19 degrees Celsius are encouraged to take advantage of the scheme.
Councillor Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “Fuel poverty is a modern day evil and it is vital that we do what we can to support those residents in our communities who are most in need.
“I urge everyone to contact Local Energy Advice Partnership and see if they able to access support from this excellent scheme.”
The Local Energy Advice Partnership can help residents check if they are on the cheapest energy tariff – potentially saving £280 per year.
It can help them install free, simple energy saving measures to lower household bills and provide day-to-day energy saving hints and tips.
It can also help provide access other improvements, such as loft insulation or a new boiler.
The scheme forms part of the Councils’ new Sustainability Framework.
To find out more about the Local Energy Advice Partnership and to arrange a free home visit from an advisor, call 0800 060 7657 or apply online at www.applyforleap.org.uk