IT MAY be warm outside but Oldham Council is reminding residents to get their homes ready for when the cold weather arrives again.
The borough’s award-winning Warm Homes Service is here to help all year round.
Whether it is fitting heating or insulation improvements to your home, helping you switch energy providers or advice on how to reduce your energy bills, the programme can help.
Stanley Warren, from Chadderton, got in touch after seeing details of the scheme on the council’s website.
The pensioner, who lives with his wife Joyce and lodger Colin Griffiths, was struggling to heat his home because of its old electric heating system.
By tea-time the heat had run out meaning the residents were forced to go to bed at 6pm most nights just to keep warm.
Following the initial contact a Warm Homes officer visited the property and carried out an assessment.
An application for ECO grant funding was approved and – topped up with Warm Homes Oldham money – a new central heating system was installed.
The Warm Homes assessor also identified that the household’s income was very low, so referred them on for a benefits check – this resulted in extra financial support.
An energy tariff check also resulted in savings of more than £300 a year when they switched.
All three residents have since reported improvements in their health.
Stanley said: “Our house is now nice and warm, and we saved money on our bills as well!”
Councillor Dave Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “It’s good to hear stories like Stanley’s as it goes to show that Warm Homes Oldham is making a real difference.
“Since the council and our partners started this scheme more than two years we’ve helped more than 2,000 people and have reduced the number of residents who are living in cold homes with out-dated heating systems.
“The results of these interventions have seen not only a welcome improvement in residents’ health and wellbeing but also a significant reduction in their fuel bills.
“The scheme is a good example of how we are working with our partners to not only deliver quality assured property improvements, but also useful advice and practical help.”
Denis Gizzi, Managing Director, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “There can be serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of those living in fuel poverty in the winter, particularly the elderly, vulnerable, people with long term conditions and people living with a disability.
“As you can see from Stanley’s story we can help to avoid these impacts by improving people’s homes through the Warm Homes scheme, and the CCG is proud to be part of such an innovative scheme.”
If you, or anyone that you know, could benefit from some help or advice from the Warm Homes team please get in touch via www.warmhomesoldham.org or call 0800 019 1084 to register your interest.