11 November 2016

City gets top marks for tackling fuel poverty

Brighton & Hove has been ranked one of the top places in the country for its efforts to keep its most vulnerable residents warm and well at home this winter.

A report published by National Energy Action has praised the city for prioritising people living in fuel poverty and for supporting the city-wide Warmth for Wellbeing service.

The report has given Brighton and Hove a top ‘six out of six’ rating based on a number of different aspects of its work.

Warmth for Wellbeing is a joint project by Brighton & Hove City Council, the local NHS, Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative and 11 charities led by the Citizens Advice Bureau. It has been coordinated through the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

Project coordinator Emily Ballantyne, from the Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “So far we’ve helped nearly 400 people manage their fuel debts, maximise the benefits they’re entitled to, switch to cheaper fuel tariffs, get funding to replace their inefficient boiler, and have draft exclusion and insulation fitted.”

The chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Daniel Yates, said: “Around 15,000 households in the city struggle to heat their home because they can’t afford the bills or because their homes are poorly insulated.

“People aged 65 and over, children under five, pregnant women, and those with disabilities or long term health conditions are particularly at risk when living in a cold home.

“There is no time for complacency, but a lot of local people have been helped by our Warmth for Wellbeing project and I’m delighted this work has been recognised.”

If you are worried about being warm enough for whatever reason please call the Warmth for Wellbeing helpline for free advice and support on 0800 988 7037.