New research has revealed that around 4,300 households in North Herefordshire are entitled to help with their energy costs. In response to this, Bill is encouraging people to call a special helpline and find out more about the assistance available.

The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) is a free, impartial and confidential service that connects people and families on low incomes, and those in poor health, with support worth on average £160. The help available includes grants for insulation, new boilers, discount and rebate schemes.

Bill commented,

“Many people don’t realise what support is available. Anyone in North Herefordshire who is worried about paying their bills, or staying warm this winter, should call the Home Heat Helpline and talk things through with one of their advisors.

I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty. A cold snap can come at any moment and no one should suffer in silence.”

The Home Heat Helpline is open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays. It is also possible to access the service online by visiting http://www.homeheathelpline.org.uk.

Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline also advises people to think about what they can do around the home to reduce their energy consumption:

“As the weather gets colder and households turn on their heating, now is the ideal time to remind people that lots of help is available to keep warm, and that the Home Heat Helpline is there to assist them. We’re urging anyone on a low income, older people, families with young children and those with long-term health conditions to call the Home Heat Helpline to claim the free help they are entitled to in reducing their bills.”

There are also some other simple steps people can take in reducing their energy. For example:

• turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and save you around £100 a year.

• turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally

• switch your lights off when you’re not using them

• turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not being used

• replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones

• regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it’s operating at full efficiency

• draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room

• move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room

Home Heat Helpline: 0800 33 66 99 or http://www.homeheathelpline.org.uk

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