Funding to help tackle fuel poverty in Cornwall
12:00pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 in News
A government funding boost of over £300,000 will be used to help combat fuel poverty in Cornwall.
Cornwall Council’s Green Cornwall team, working with partners Community Energy Plus, the Eden Project, the NHS and Energyshare, bid for the cash from the Department for Energy and Climate Chan.
It also worked with Cornwall Together and the Eden Project to put in a further bid for nearly £900,000 to support fuel switching in Cornwall.
The council says that part of this money will directly help people who are suffering from fuel poverty in Cornwall by providing insulation in over 500 homes, with a referral service to ensure that the most vulnerable householders can access the service.
“This funding is very welcome,” said councillor Carolyn Rule, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for health and wellbeing.
“We need to offer a joined up approach to help vulnerable people with the very real threat of fuel poverty and the whole raft of health issues that can result from having to live in a cold, poorly insulated and often damp home. This additional money will give the agencies involved the resources to help target support to those in most need and at most risk.”
Dionne Jones from Community Energy Plus (CEP) said; “The confirmation of this funding is fantastic news. With an increasing amount of people being forced into fuel poverty, the funding is vital to ensure that the most vulnerable householders will be able to have their homes insulated and avoid the health, financial and environmental risks associated with fuel poverty.”
The funding for fuel switching, which was led by Eden, will build on the Cornwall-based fuel switching initiative Cornwall Together.
The council says that the campaign expects to reach at least 100,000 households who are most at risk of fuel poverty, adding that evidence from Cornwall Together shows that many households can save hundreds of pounds a year simply by switching their gas and/or electricity provider as part of the collective.
Steven Ford, the Council’s Green Cornwall Programme Manager, said: “We hope that this funding will start the process of helping Cornish residents to tackle the challenges of rising energy prices through a combination of better insulation of their properties, coupled with a greater understanding of the energy markets and how collective switching can in many instances help reduce bills."
Anyone experiencing serious financial difficulty as a result of winter energy bills or is suffering from ill health associated with living in a cold home is advised to call the free phone no 0800 954 1956.