Eligible homes across Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale and Pennines are being targeted for free or part-funded home improvements like boiler replacement, solid wall insulation, loft and cavity wall insulation to get ‘Toasty’ in time for winter.
Low income families, benefit recipients, older people and families or individuals living in older properties are most likely to benefit from this additional support from the Toasty Rochdale scheme.
Toasty Rochdale is part of a wider Greater Manchester initiative to reduce energy consumption in domestic homes by funding home improvements. Working with partners ScottishPower and Dyson Energy Services, the Toasty scheme is designed to help Rochdale Borough Council deliver the Government’s Energy Companies Obligation (ECO).
Councillor Sultan Ali, cabinet member for stronger communities and housing, said: “At the height of summer heating bills are probably not something you’re worried about right now but winter will soon be upon us and we want households to be prepared.
“Our most vulnerable communities need our support to escape fuel poverty and we want as many eligible people as possible to take advantage of this fantastic scheme. If you’re struggling to pay your heating bills please pick up the phone and find out if you’re eligible for home improvements or financial aid.”
Poor heating and a lack of insulation allows heat to escape through the walls and roof contributing to higher energy bills and unnecessary carbon emissions.
In 2011 there were 4.5 million households in the UK in fuel poverty. Historically, a household is said to be fuel poor if it needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its income on fuel to maintain an adequate level of warmth. The adequate standard of warmth is usually defined as 21 degrees for the main living area, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms. A new measure proposed to be more accurate by the Professor Hills’ Review calculates fuel poverty based on the following criteria; they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level) and were they to spend that amount, they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
With the onset of the Welfare Reform changes more people are receiving less state support and therefore the Toasty Rochdale scheme comes at a crucial time to help many adjust to their new financial situations without the added worry of rising energy/fuel bills.
Paul Matley, Account Development Executive at ScottishPower, said: “ScottishPower is pleased to be supporting the Rochdale ‘Toasty’ initiative - this very successful area based energy efficiency scheme is currently assisting families across the borough to make their homes more affordable to run and vastly improve the efficiency and comfort levels within their homes. The new measures such as replacement boilers and heating systems plus new improved insulation measures will make a real difference to householder’s bills this winter and for many more in the future. This exciting new initiative will make a positive impact on lifting those householders most in need out of fuel poverty.”
To launch the scheme ‘Mr Toasty’ a giant cartoon character in the shape of a piece of toast is paying Number One Riverside a special visit on Friday 9 August 2013. Mr Toasty will be welcoming visitors to the building and explaining more about the scheme, encouraging people to phone the helpline to find out if they’re eligible for help.
Residents should ring the Greater Manchester Energy Advice Service on 0800 009 3363 or visit www.getmetoasty.com for more information.
Notes to Editor:
For more information on this story please contact Helen Wilkinson, Communications Officer at Rochdale Borough Council on 01706 925349 or email Helen.firstname.lastname@example.org