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Free budgeting workshop in Biddulph

  • Worried about paying your energy bills and staying warm this winter?
  • Not sure how to make your income cover your basic needs?
  • want to help others who are struggling?
Join us for a free Live4Less course.  You will gain the skills and knowledge needed to live well within your financial means and help others to do the same.
For anyone over 50
Covers:
  • Budgeting
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Fuel
  • Food
  • Volunteering
Biddulph Resource Information Centre
17th and 24th February and 4th March 2014 (3 different sessions)
Limited places available
 
Contact caroline.harmon@mea.org.uk or call 07748 508704

Government grants to help cover the cost of winter fuel bills

Warm Homes Discount

The government’s Warm Homes Discount scheme is now in its third year. This year the grant has risen to £135 off the energy bills to those that qualify. There are two main groups that qualify. The ‘Core Group’ is those in receipt of the Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit. Provided the claimant or their partner was named on their energy bill as of 20th July 2013 they will automatically qualify. Those over 75 in receipt of either element of Pension Credit will also qualify. If this applies to you then you should receive a letter before February next year (2014) telling you one of two possible messages. The first is that you qualify and don’t need to do anything else.  The other possibility is that it will say that you qualify but that you need to register with your electricity supplier by 14 March 2014. Anyone on this benefit that has not received this letter by February 2013 should contact the helpline on 0845 603 9439 or contact their electricity provider.

The second group is called the ‘Broader Group’. Eligibility for this element is set by the individual electricity providers. Most electricity providers that supply more than 250,000 households will be offering the discount but each sets its own criteria and the numbers of customers they wish to help. This element is decided on a first come, first served basis and some schemes are already booking up so if you think you might qualify contact your electricity supplier NOW! 

 

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born before the 5th January 1952 you could qualify for between £100 and £300 tax free. If you receive state pension or certain social security benefits you should qualify automatically. If you have not had the payment before or do not receive state pension or are on Housing Benefit, Child benefit or Council Tax Reduction you will need to apply. For more information call 08459 151515

To find out what you are eligible for call us on 0800 1123 743 or email eco@mea.org.uk 

New Affordable Warmth Scheme for Shropshire

Our new service (eco@mea) helps householders to improve the energy efficiency of their homes to keep them warmer and reduce their energy bills. 

Our qualified energy efficiency advisers can provide information on all aspects of energy efficiency from the installation of major measures like changes to heating systems to simple lifestyle changes such as turning off appliances.  We can also advise on energy tariffs and switching suppliers.

We offer up to date information on the latest grants and government schemes, the two major schemes being the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal. Our information is accompanied with safe and easy routes to trusted installers for those that qualify for grants or those that wish to fund measures themselves (should they not be eligible for full grant support).

Both these schemes are extremely complex.  Fortunately, we have already gathered vast knowledge and experience by undertaking projects for a number of Local Authorities and by working closely with installers to understand how the scheme works in practice. We are also working with community energy groups; Age UK; and the Citizens Advice Bureau.  To find out if you are eligible or for further information email eco@mea.org.uk or call 0800 1123 743

Great feedback on our video . . .

Tim Farron MP, Chair of the LibDems emailed: 

 

I’ve just looked at the video – it was really excellent.  Everyone else in the London office came over to look at it while I was playing it because it was so compelling.  The use of real human examples, and the quality of presentation really stood out!

 

See the video here

 

Government Grant Scheme for energy efficiency measures

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) provides free and discounted insulation measures for the home and free repair or replacement of older heating boilers. ECO has three strands, all of which could be important for Shropshire residents. They are;

The Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation (CERO), offering a grant to households that are in properties with solid walls or with hard to treat cavity walls. The grant could cover the full cost of the work but the level is dependent on the house type, size and the heating fuel. If a property qualifies for either of these measures then loft insulation can also be provided.

The Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO), offering a grant to provide free repair or replacement of heating boilers, free cavity wall insulation and free loft insulation. HHCRO is open to homeowners and private tenants receiving certain income-related benefits such as Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (restrictions apply). Other benefits also apply.

The Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCO), offering a grant to provide free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and solid wall insulation based on areas defined by the government as in need. This includes parts of Shrewsbury.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that installing loft insulation could save a household around £180 a year on their energy bills, installing cavity wall insulation could save around £140 a year and installing solid wall insulation could save approximately £490 a year.

To see if you qualify for any of these grants call Keep Shropshire Warm on 01743 277123 or email info@keepshropshirewarm.org