Heating help for low income households

Published: Wednesday 27th July 11

Summer is the best time to replace an inefficient old boiler or have other insulation work carried out in the home.

Now homeowners and private tenants on low incomes in Wandsworth are being urged to apply for help under a scheme that aims to reduce fuel poverty and ensure homes are properly insulated and heated.

Coldbusters grants of up to £6,000 are available to help eligible residents install loft and cavity wall insulation or replace and upgrade inefficient old boilers.

The Coldbusters scheme is managed by Climate Energy in partnership with Wandsworth Council. Their surveyors will provide free, independent advice on home heating and insulation - and if works are required - they will obtain estimates, make all the preparations to apply for the grants and arrange for the works to be carried out by recommended installers.

So far, 1,300 households in the borough have benefited from the scheme. These homes have undergone a series of energy efficiency improvements ranging from the installation of a completely new central heating system or replacement boiler, upgraded heating controls, cavity wall and loft insulation, draught-proofing and window renewals.

Figures show that having lofts and cavity walls properly insulated can help save more than £300 a year on fuel bills - while fitting a new fuel efficient boiler can reduce running costs by around 30 per cent.

Housing spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said: "Rising fuel bills combined with the current economic position mean that it is more important than ever that people on low incomes do not lose money as a result of inefficient heating and insulation in their homes."

To qualify for assistance under the scheme applicants must receive one of the following benefits:

Income Support
Income based jobseeker's allowance
Council tax benefit
Housing benefit
Guaranteed pension credits
Working families tax credit (incomes less than £15,592)
Child Tax credit (incomes less than £15,592)
Disability Living Allowance
Attendance Allowance

Landlords may also apply on behalf of a low income tenant if they meet the above criteria. The maximum grant available is £6,000.

This scheme will be ending soon and grants are being awarded on a first come first served basis.

To find out if you are eligible contact the Coldbusters scheme on freephone telephone number 0800 358 6668. Even if you are not on any of the above benefits you may still qualify for help from another discount scheme.


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