A GOVERNMENT grant scheme is being offered to help needy Barnsley families keep warm in the cold snap.

The Warm Front scheme provides grants to make hard-to-heat homes more energy efficient - the money can be used for heating and insulation improvements by residents on certain income-related benefits, living in poorly insulated properties, or without a working central heating system.

Qualifying households can get improvements worth up to £3,500 to pay for things like boiler replacement, insulation to cavity walls and lofts, draught-proofing and converting solid-fuel open fires to glass-fronted.

Coun Tim Cheetham said: “Warm Front improvements support fuel-poor residents in Barnsley to heat their homes affordably. This helps to reduce or prevent the negative health effects of living in cold, damp homes and with fuel prices continuing to rise sharply, any savings will be very welcome for hard-up families.

“Nationally, one in four households is thought to be in fuel poverty. In low-income areas like Barnsley that would mean that more than 25,000 families could be affected.”

Just last month, WAB reported that scores of people had died in Barnsley because they couldn’t keep warm over winter.

NHS Barnsley say around 122 people have died – classed as ‘excess winter deaths’ – over a three year period

Applications for Warm Front grants can be made by emailing enquiry@carillionplc.com or phoning 0800 316 2805.

Wonder if you are eligible? Here's a rough guide:

•           You must own your home or rent it from a private landlord.

•           AND your property must have a SAP rating 55 or lower

•           AND you must receive a qualifying benefit for example:

•           Pension Credit or;

•           income-related Employment and Support Allowance that includes a work-related activity or support component (this includes contribution based ESA customers in the support group who get an income related top up because they automatically qualify for the enhanced disability premium payable with income related ESA)

And those awarded:

•           Income Support or;

•           income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or;

•           income-related Employment and Support Allowance in the assessment phase (first 13 weeks of the claim)

Who must also have one of the following:

•           a pensioner premium. or;

•           a disability or severe disability premium, or;

•           an award of child tax credit that also includes an element for a disabled, or severely disabled child or young person, or;

•           a child under the age of five living with you

You will be visited by a Warm Front surveyor, who will measure the energy efficiency of your home using a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). SAP is the government's recommended system for measuring the energy rating of residential properties.

 

The surveyor will then make recommendations on which energy efficiency improvements are most appropriate for your property.