Merton and Wandsworth Residents Reminded of Warmer Homes Fund

Support available for those struggling with energy bills

Grants available for upgrade of colder homes
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.

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December 17, 2021