Schemes introduced to help people cope with the cold

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

Schemes to help raise awareness of the support available to help people to stay warm at home are being rolled out by Calderdale Council.

The Council has a number of schemes in place to help residents cope with the cold weather, from reducing fuel bills by making homes more energy efficient, to providing essential advice on staying warm in winter.

Treating all cold-related ill health in Calderdale is estimated to cost the NHS over £4.8 million pounds per year.

Rising energy costs have forced those on the lowest incomes to make tough choices about their household budget, many being forced to under-heat their homes because they can’t afford their energy bills.

Proper insulation and modern, efficient heating is needed for all the older houses in Calderdale to make them healthier, warmer and cheaper to heat, and to reduce carbon emissions.

Calderdale Council and the Calderdale Affordable Warmth Partnership (which includes organisations such as the Council, Pennine Housing and Age UK) support a range of activity to help those at greatest risk from living in a cold home.

Advice and support are available from the Council’s Housing Energy Action Team to help people on low incomes to make their homes more comfortable and cheaper to heat.

The Safe and Warm winter project is helping people on the lowest incomes with winter clothing, temporary heaters, heating repairs and other winter items.

The Better Homes scheme will be launched in spring 2015, offering energy efficiency improvements to help all local residents who own or privately rent their homes to heat them for less.

Councillor James Baker, the Council’s Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel Chair, has led a recent scrutiny review about the links between public health and cold homes. The recommendations will soon be reported to the Council.

Calderdale Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Scott Benton, said: “We are supporting this vital national campaign to raise awareness of the issues faced by people who live in cold homes. We’re reminding residents that we provide a range of support services to help them stay warm and save on their fuel bills. Making cold homes more energy efficient will help in a number of ways, including reducing energy bills and ill health, improving academic achievement in younger people and cutting carbon emissions caused by the use of fossil fuels.”

For advice on how to make your home warmer visit the Council’s website at www.calderdale.gov.uk/housing or contact the Housing Energy Action Team on 01422 392479. There is also lots of practical advice on how to be prepared for winter at www.calderdale.gov.uk/winter