Warm homes campaign to tackle fuel poverty in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire’s Housing Services has joined forces with the national Warm Homes Campaign to tackle fuel poverty in the county.
Two awareness events will be held later this month and in February.
The campaign is run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA), which aims to raise awareness of the problem and some of the solutions available for those struggling to heat their homes affordably.
People will be able to get advice on energy efficiency at the event, with practical hints and tips on insulating their homes.
The events will take place on Thursday January 26 in Pencader Pavilion from 3-6pm and on Wednesday February 8 in the Aberduar chapel vestry, Llanybydder, from 3-6pm.
NEA Cymru Director Carole Morgan-Jones said: “Sadly, we know that many already vulnerable people will be struggling to afford to keep themselves warm in their homes this winter.
“Wales had the highest winter excess mortality rate at 17 per cent last year and one of the prime causes of excess winter deaths is fuel poverty. Within Carmarthenshire, nearly one in four households are in fuel poverty, and those off the mains gas network are more likely to be in fuel poverty than those with mains gas.
“Through the Warm Homes Campaign we hope to improve the life chances of residents who are struggling with their fuel bills and ensure they can stay warm and healthy.”
A Carmarthenshire council tenant who joined her local fuel club, which is also open to private tenants and home owners, and was able to receive a low interest oil loan, said: “Previously I was constantly watching the fuel gauge every time the heating was on. I don’t seem to worry as much now.
“I usually order oil once the tank is on half, unlike before I struggled to afford to buy 500 litres, now I order far more regularly and there is always credit on my account as I pay £15 per week. Without the co-ordinator encouraging me to save with the credit union, I probably would still be struggling now.”
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “Cold can be a killer and fuel poverty is a serious problem in Carmarthenshire. I welcome this initiative to tackle it by helping people find affordable fuel to heat their homes adequately or to access help with their fuel bills.
“We have deliberately concentrated on rural areas where people do not have access to mains gas and therefore face higher fuel bills.”

For more details phone Maria Evans on 01267 228855 or email on MLEvans@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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