This winter is going to be tough for everyone, but particularly for those in fuel poverty.
Fuel poverty is caused by a combination of low income, high energy costs and inefficient housing. Households in fuel poverty typically have other vulnerabilities such as old age, young children, ill-health and disability. We want to raise awareness of the situation locally and support available for those struggling to keep warm or pay for electricity and gas.
Impact of Covid-19
- Financial instability caused by Covid-19 will make it more difficult for people to pay their bills and more likely to get into debt, for some this may be the first time they have got into problems and they may not know where to get support
- Unemployment, working from home and lockdown means that people will be using more energy and could be spending more time in a cold home
- Coping strategies such as only heating (and the whole household spending time in) one room, not ventilating the home to avoid draughts, and seeking out heated public spaces could increase the spread of Covid-19
- Householders with respiratory and circulatory health conditions affected by cold weather are likely to be at greater risk from Covid-19 and worsening health caused by a cold home could put extra strain on NHS services
Local Support available
- Andover Citizens Advice centre – offer help and support to access local , Covid Winter Grants, which are funded by Hampshire county council, to help towards fuel payments. You can call them on 01264 723641.
Ange Moon, Chief Officer Citizens Advice Test Valley tells Andover Radio, “There are a number of extra grants available at this difficult time for those who need a little extra help to keep warm this winter and through lockdown. These grants are available to us as a Citizens Advice and all have certain criteria and an application process that we can go through with clients.”
“The best advice I can offer therefore is if any of your families need help they call us or email us, Our advisers will then be able to determine if there is anything else we can do and look to apply for help”
Warm Home Discount 2020-21
The Warm Home Discount is a scheme providing eligible households with a £140 electricity bill discount for winter 2020-21. This discount is available to credit and pre-payment customers, providing your supplier is part of the scheme and you meet their eligibility criteria. You need to apply directly with your energy supplier to claim this.