250,000 WELSH HOMES FACE NEEDLESS WINTER FREEZE - WILLOTT

December 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Today, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, released figures showing that 250,000 Welsh households are not claiming free help to insulate their houses and cut their household energy fuel bills by up to £250 a year.

Under the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT), low income households claiming out-of-work or disability benefits, working tax credit or pension credit, can benefit from insulation grants to provide cavity wall or loft insulation for poorly insulated homes. Anyone over the age of 70 can apply for the free grants, regardless of whether they are claiming benefits or tax credits.

The figures were compiled by the New Policy Institute and Jenny is urging constituents to call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 or her constituency office on 02902 668558 for their free "Little Book of Energy" advice booklet.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"With temperatures plummeting below freezing, free insulation grants are an essential way for people to stay warm and cut their fuel bills.

"Fuel poverty in Wales is at record levels and energy bills are likely to rise even further, so these free insulation grants, which could cut energy bills by hundreds of pounds, are a real lifeline for financially stretched families.

"Hundreds of thousands of Welsh families are missing out on this free help. In Cardiff alone, over 23,000 eligible people have yet to take advantage of this scheme.

"I am urging every resident to call my constituency office or the Home Heat Helpline today to request their free Little Book of Energy advice booklet and make sure they are not one of those missing out."

Christine McGourty, spokesperson for the Home Heat Helpline, joined Ms Willott in calling for residents to find out if they are eligible. She said:

"This research shows the huge scale of unclaimed help that's out there on offer from energy suppliers,"

"We have trained advisers who can help you get grants for insulation, special reduced tariffs as well as advice and support on how to keep warm and save money on your bills."

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