News from: Citizens Advice Reading
Fuel poverty affects 2.5 million households in England. “Heating or eating” is a choice many people have to make. Millions of households across the UK ‘self-disconnect’, turning off the heating to save money.
Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is an annual day to raise awareness of this hidden and largely unknown problem, to highlight the effects on health and what can be done about it. Living in a cold home has serious health consequences, such as breathing problems, strokes and heart attacks, as well as premature death for many elderly or frail people. It also dramatically affects peoples’ mental health leading to depression, loneliness and an increased sense of social isolation.
Who are the Fuel Poor in Reading? You could be affected, if you live in a rented house, live in a property with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of E or below, if you’re young, if you’re old, if you have a long term illness or a disability, or if you have a pre-payment meter.
What can you do to protect yourself? Pay less – find out about how to save money on your bills by switching supplier or paying the cheapest way possible. Use Less – take action on your home to block drafts, through low cost measures such as letter box flaps, key hole covers, adding insulating strips around external doors or using silicone sealant to seal drafts around windows, doors and skirting boards. Finally you should claim all of the benefits and discounts available such as the Warm Home Discount for older people, parents on low incomes with children under 5 years old, or people on a range of benefits.
Citizens Advice Reading provides a free energy advice service, which includes help with switching supplier, home energy efficiency and help with grants, benefits and discounts. We also provide free energy advice sessions for community groups and organisations, so householders and professionals know how to tackle cold homes.
To book a face-face energy advice appointment or a group session, contact Citizens Advice Reading on 01189 523022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.