Friday 10 February 2012 was Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. The day was part of a national campaign aimed at raising awareness of the health problems caused by living in cold, damp homes and the help that is available to resolve these issues. In conjunction with National Energy Action (NEA), Cambridgeshire ACRE supported the need to raise awareness of the impact of fuel poverty within our communities at the present time. They therefore want to bring to everyone’s attention the following key messages:
1. Fuel Poverty has an adverse effect on physical and mental health. It is really important to stay warm and keep your home heated to the levels needed to maintain good health. It is recommended that ‘living room’ temperatures are set between 18-21°C.
2. There is help available if you are finding it hard to pay your electricity or gas bill:
- The first thing to do is to contact your suppliers for advice, as they may negotiate a payment plan to help you manage your bills better.
- The Government’s Warm Front scheme will help those who are eligible to receive free or reduced-cost insulation and heating measures. They can be contacted by phone on 0800 316 2805 or visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/warmfront;
- The Home Heat Helpline will provide free of charge heating help and advice. Their telephone number is 0800 33 66 99 or visit their website at http://www.homeheathelpline.org.uk.
3. Many people do not even realise they are in or in danger of falling into fuel poverty although they will be anxious about home energy costs and fuel bills. National Energy Audit’s Four Step Guide to Affordable Warmth is a good place for people to start looking at what they can do to achieve a warmer home. Visit http://www.nea.org.uk/assets/general-files-images/infograph.jpg for details.
4. Cambridgeshire ACRE has a small supply of the Government’s Keep Warm Keep Well booklet which gives helpful advice on keeping warm. If you would like a copy, please contact Lynda Bubb, Community Advisor on 01353 865037 or email her at email@example.com.