“It has made such a difference. I now have a warm home, which helps so much,” said Dennis Horgan, whose home has been fitted with central heating as part of a limited free offer that you, or someone you know, may still be able to take advantage of.
Mr Horgan’s home in Hanwell was fitted with a combi boiler and five radiators thanks to a partnership between local fuel poverty charity Energy Solutions and Ealing Council. He used to get by with a single gas fire.
His carer contacted the council via a helpline, managed by Energy Solutions, asking for help and advice. After assessing the situation it was quickly determined that Mr Horgan, who has health problems, should have help. Some temporary electric room heaters were provided to boost the warmth in the home until a central heating system could be fitted.
It has since made a dramatic difference to keeping him warm – and also to cutting his bills.
Prior to the gas central heating installation, Mr Horgan’s estimated heating costs were £2,295 per year. This has now been reduced to an estimated £648 per year, saving him a staggering £1,647. The energy performance rating for the property was also improved from a band G, the lowest rating possible, to a band D.
Mr Horgan’s carer said: “The installers were superb; they worked so hard and would barely stop for a cup of tea. We are really pleased with how everything looks. The installer did everything for us and even set the timers and thermostat to save us the trouble of having to mess about with it all. They were really great and we are so happy with everything.”
COULD YOU QUALIFY?
Energy Solutions is installing central heating to households in Ealing currently living without it, when qualifying criteria are met – such as being in receipt of certain benefits or being officially classed as living in fuel poverty. This offer is limited and being offered on a first come, first served basis. It is funded by the government, through the Department Of Energy andClimate Change’s Central Heating Fund.
As this story was published, only 15 free central heating system installations remained available for eligible residents. Contact the helpline on 0800 169 5693 to find out more before the offer ends in January 2017.
OTHER WAYS TO STAY COSIE
If you do not qualify, do not worry – you may still be able to get help to cut your energy costs and keep warm this winter. Ealing Council’s COSIE helpline (‘cold weather support in Ealing’) is free to call from landlines and mobiles.
Advisors have detailed knowledge of grants, support and information to keep your home snug while keeping energy bills down at the same time. If you care for a person who will benefit from COSIE advice, you can call or make a referral on their behalf.
Some residents who call COSIE may qualify for a free home survey by a ‘green doctor’ and possibly a free boiler upgrade. Energy saving measures such as draughtproofing, low energy light bulbs and reflective radiator panels may also be offered.
Summera Ahmed, of Southall, was referred to COSIE and received an energy efficiency monitor and advice on bills. She said: “The monitor is really useful and shows me my consumption of electricity, and they helped me with energy bills, which saved me a little bit off them. I’ve told other people about it already – especially older people who are on pension credits. If you are on benefits, a little bit off your bills really helps.”
Call COSIE on 0800 083 2265.
DON’T SUFFER COLD AND DAMP
Council leader Julian Bell said: “None of our residents should have to suffer cold and damp homes this winter. If you think you, or someone you care for, might qualify for the free central heating installation please call the Energy Solutions hotline as soon as you can.”
Councillor Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for health and adults’ services, said: “Thousands of vulnerable Londoners are struggling to meet their heating costs and we don’t want anyone in Ealing to be in that position. Anyone with questions or concerns about energy costs over the winter, or concerns about staying warm, should make the most of our free advice service COSIE.”