WARM HOMES Oldham is continuing to improve the lives and health of thousands of people across the borough, new government figures show.
From January 2013-16 the borough has fitted the second highest number of home improvements and new energy saving measures, such as boilers, loft insulation and cladding, in the country.
The figures, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show 170 households out of every 1,000 in Oldham have benefitted from an ECO grant to improve their homes.
With a total of 15,416 installations being completed this is the highest total in Greater Manchester.
Warm Homes Oldham was set up to help households struggling with rising energy bills and to reduce the health problems associated with living in a cold home.
Funded by Oldham Council, Oldham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership, it brings health and housing bodies together to tackle fuel poverty and improve the health of residents.
Energy efficiency and switching advice is also offered to help people reduce gas and electricity bills, as well as support for claiming benefits, help pay off prepayment meters and clear fuel debts.
The scheme has helped lift more than 2,300 households out of fuel poverty – meaning they are no longer spending more than 10 per cent of their income on heating bills.
Among those to benefit from Warm Homes Oldham are Royton’s John Moorhouse and his wife Lorna.
Over the last few years John’s health has been in decline due to breathing difficulties, resulting in him being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
ECO and Warm Homes funding was secured for the installation of a new energy efficient boiler and a benefits check revealed the couple were entitled to an Attendee Allowance.
The Warm Homes Officer assisted them in switching energy suppliers, saving them £238 a year and also secured the Warm Homes discount of £140 for them.
They also received a visit from Age UK for other small energy saving measures such as radiator panels, and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service fitted free smoke alarms.
John said: “Everyone has been brilliant, we can’t thank the Warm Homes team enough as we none of this would have been possible without their help – we are over the moon.”
Councillor Dave Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “These figures show our Warm Homes Oldham scheme is making a huge difference.
“Over the last three years we’ve been able to help reduce the number of Oldham residents living in fuel poverty and, as a result, have helped to improve their health.
“This scheme is yet another good example of how we are working co-operatively with our partners to offer quality assured property improvements, and also advice and practical help.”
For more information or to book a free home visit go online: www.warmhomesoldham.org or call 0800 019 1084.