Support available for those struggling with energy bills
Grants available for upgrade of colder homes. Picture: NEA
Wandsworth and Merton residents struggling with high heating bills have been urged to apply for City Hall’s ‘Warmer Homes’ Fund by local London Assembly Member, Leonie Cooper. This comes as the Mayor has estimated that 75,000 more Londoners could struggle with bills as energy prices increase.
Ms Cooper is also warning that the cut to the weekly Universal Credit uplift, rising rents and food prices will also mean more local people having to confront the choice between eating and heating.
The latest Government stats show that in 2019, 13.2% of households in Wandsworth and 14.7% in Merton were living in fuel poverty.
£51 million has recently been invested into a London Warmer Homes scheme by the Mayor and the Government. The scheme which will offer grants of up to £20,000 for heating, insulation and ventilation improvements to low income Londoners who own their own homes or rent privately. The aim is to upgrade 3,200 fuel poor homes from Spring next year.
This winter, eligible Londoners who own or rent their home can bid for grants of up to £10,000 from a pot of £11 million to fund emergency heating replacements, repairs, insulation and renewable technology such as solar panels and heat pumps.
The remaining £40 million in the Warmer Homes fund will be allocated to upgrading over 3,000 draughty homes in London from next spring.
Local London Assembly Member, Leonie Cooper AM, said, “It isn’t right that so many Londoners are struggling to afford to put the heating on, as winter begins to bite.
“In the lead up to Christmas, the surge in the cost of living and the removal of the Universal Credit uplift has made things much more difficult for local families and households.
“My message to those who are struggling with their energy bills is that help is at hand. I would urge them to check their eligibility and apply for a grant from the Warmer Homes scheme funded by the Mayor and the Government.
“It’s great to see funding committed to retrofitting and upgrading draughty homes in London. However, if we are going to meet the scale of the challenges of helping the lowest income households and tackling the climate emergency, we need much longer-term investment from Ministers”.
There is also potential help with fuel bills from Wandsworth Council which recently voted to release over £2million of a Household Support Fund Grant to support financially vulnerable families from the government. This is to be allocated by the end of March and includes a new Fuel Grant Scheme providing a payment to low-income households to help with fuel costs.
It comes on top of the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund, a £550,000 pot to help the borough’s most vulnerable residents with food, fuel, furniture and white goods.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
December 17, 2021