Autumn and winter will be a lot cosier for a number of East Riding residents who have benefitted from a range of measures to help with heating the home, which – owing to their long-term health conditions – are made worse by living in a cold, damp house.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council, working in partnership with a range of organisations, can offer a variety of aid to private sector residents in the form of insulation, boilers and first-time central heating (subject to eligibility of the client).
In partnership with npower’s Health Through Warmth scheme, the council recently helped Mrs Jacqueline Mercer get a new boiler for her property and a winter fuel grant award.
Mrs Mercer, from Withernsea, suffers from significant long-term health conditions and a cold home worsens these conditions.
When her previous boiler broke down, she contacted East Riding of Yorkshire Council for their help and advice. The Health Through Warmth co-ordinator then arranged for quotes and the installation of a new boiler.
Owing to the scheme working with a number of charities, Mrs Mercer secured funding from Hospitality Action (based on her past profession in the hospitality industry) and Aid for the Aged in Distress, with both Health Through Warmth and these charities providing funding towards the cost of the works.
Mrs Mercer said: “Not having heating was awful. My health really started to get worse and I couldn’t afford to replace my boiler.
“I’m so grateful that Health Through Warmth, Hospitality Action and Aid for the Aged in Distress were able to help me. Being warm again is wonderful and such a relief.”
Sarah Heaney, npower Health Through Warmth scheme manager, added: “It’s important to look out for vulnerable people in our local communities, not only in the colder months.
“We’re calling on residents in East Riding to keep an eye on friends, family and neighbours, whose health could be made worse because of a broken heating system.”
There are also a number of other grants available for East Riding private sector residents which are having a positive impact on the environment.
Mr Wood, from Willerby, recently benefitted from the cavity and loft insulation grant scheme – a fund which allows owner occupier or private rented residents to receive loft and/or cavity insulation for a contribution of just £99 per measure.
“We are very pleased with the scheme,” said Mr Wood.
“We have found the house retains its heat during the day and also at night. The temperature does not go down much overnight, and also in the recent heatwave, when it is hot outside, the house remains cooler inside.”
Councillor Chris Matthews, portfolio holder for strategic management at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “A big aim of these heating measures is to improve residents’ energy efficiency in their properties.
“It is important that residents are aware that by controlling how they keep warm in their homes, they can have a positive effect in reducing carbon footprints and help combat climate change in the long run.”
Following the council’s successful bid under the Warm Homes Fund, both owner occupiers and private rented properties can have first-time gas central heating installed, subject to the energy rating of the dwelling and eligibility of the resident.
One recipient who has benefitted from this scheme is Mr Paul Weldrick of Bridlington, who received a first-time gas central heating system installed in his home “which has had a positive effect on his wellbeing”.
Mr Craven, a private sector landlord of properties in the Bridlington area, has recently had a number of flats improved by the installation of first-time gas central heating.
Mrs Crabbe, one of Mr Craven’s tenants, said: “This central heating has completely transformed the flat. It is nice to go to bed and get up in the warmth as it was cold in the bedroom when we only had electric fires.”
“I cannot believe what a difference this has made to the warmth and improvement of my flats,” said Mr Craven. “The whole process of applying and obtaining the grant and gas connections was simple and straightforward.”
An additional scheme to help residents with health problems has also resulted in positive effects for an elderly couple in the East Riding.
Mr and Mrs Wade, whose Aldbrough property was off the gas network, recently had an air source heat pump installed – as one of the first systems on East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s new scheme in partnership with Communitas Energy.
The couple were eligible to grant aid because long-term health conditions were affected by inefficient heating. This scheme is to help those with solid fuel heating, old storage heaters or portable heaters, replacing with an air source heat pump if the resident is suffering from a long-term health condition and is on a low income.
Councillor Mike Stathers, the council’s portfolio holder for enhancing communities, said: “We are delighted that our residents are getting good use from these fantastic range of heating measures.
“It will mean more households can affordably heat their homes, especially as we are coming up to autumn and winter, and keep cold-related or long-term health conditions at bay.”
For further information and to check eligibility for any of these heating measures, contact East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s energy efficiency team on (01482) 396180, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a private housing service request on the council’s website, at https://www.eastriding.gov.uk/housing/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-at-home/