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Warm welcome for lower heating bills

Posted on Wednesday 26th October 2022

Henryk Lobuczek

A Staffordshire resident who has benefited from free help to keep his home warm is urging others to take advantage of the offer.

Henryk Lobuczek had solar panels fitted to his home in Featherstone, as part of the £5.9 million Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme.

Run by Staffordshire County Council, the scheme helps eligible residents fight fuel poverty by installing greener, more energy efficient systems.

Mr Lobuczek said:

This has made a really positive difference. Two of us live together in a standard three bedroom detached house, but under the current crisis we are struggling to make pennies meet, and every penny saved on fuel is another penny we can put to essential items.

I found it very easy to apply for the scheme. In my case I qualified for the scheme, due to my disability, and found it very easy to complete the application form and to then to get the ball rolling and to get a solution that will help us immensely over the colder months to come, which in my case was solar panels.”

The scheme has already delivered more than 700 improvements to more than 600 homes, with residents saving a combined £650,000 so far in reduced energy bills.

Depending on their home, eligible residents can have insulation for external walls, the loft under floor, and for cavity walls, as well as an air source heat pump, or solar panels.

Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Culture, is leading on the authority’s ‘Here to Help’ winter campaign and visited Henryk to see the results for herself.

She said:

This is a fantastic example of how we can help residents find the support they are entitled to and make a real difference to their lives.

The Here to Help initiative covers a wide range of things and the dedicated webpages are full of help and practical advice.”

Information is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/heretohelp and covers issues including managing debt, paying bills, food and essentials, staying warm and helping others. Access to the online benefits checker and information on funded childcare are also available.

Information on council schemes to help people with the cost of living pressures, including the Pre-Loved School Uniform Market, are also available on the website, or by visiting a community help point, library or children’s centre.

Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change, is responsible for the Warmer Homes Scheme.

He said:

As well as affecting people’s wellbeing, fuel poverty and cold homes can cause or worsen heart disease, breathing problems and dementia.

Taking the time to apply can make a real difference to your health and your fuel bills.

We’ve already had hundreds of applications for the latest round of funding, but there’s still time to apply through the website: Staffordshire Warmer Homes - Warm Homes Scheme.”

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