local people are being urged to find out if they are eligible for help with energy costs after recent figures revealed around 4,600 Angus households could qualify.
Nationally more than one in 10 UK households fit the criteria but Angus MP Mike Weir has said that many are unaware that help is available. Mr Weir is encouraging people to contact the Home Heat Helpline which offers a free, impartial and confidential service to connect those on low incomes or in poor health with support which is worth an average of £160. Assistance can also be given regarding grants for insulation, new boilers, discount and rebate schemes.
Mr Weir said: “Many people don’t realise what support is available. Anyone in Angus who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the helpline.”
The service is also available online at www.homeheathelpline.org.uk where a new Energy Checker will illustrate whether someone is entitled to help.
Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline is also advising people to think about what they can do around their homes to reduce their energy consumption
She said: “As the weather gets colder and households turn on their heating, now is the ideal time to remind people that lots of help is available to keep warm, and that the Home Heat Helpline is there to assist them. We’re urging anyone on a low income, older people, families with young children and those with long-term health conditions to call the helpline to claim the free help they are entitled to in reducing their bills.”
There are also other simple steps that can be taken to reduce energy consumption including turning radiators down in rooms used only occasionally; switching off lights when not in use and replacing normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
Further advice is available from the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99.