£1 million of funding awarded to help keep region’s homes warm this winter

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street

The West Midlands has been awarded more than £1 million of funding to help people right across the region keep warm and well this winter as energy bills continue to rise.

The grant has been awarded to Act on Energy who are working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to provide expert advice to people struggling to heat their homes. Funds will be used to offer free, energy advice over the phone, as well as face to face support at events, drop-in clinics, and house visits for the most vulnerable. 

The programme, ‘Warmer Homes West Midlands’ will build on two years of success for the help line which has already supported more than 10,000 vulnerable households across the region, improving the health and wellbeing of people living in cold and damp homes.

The new funding will enable the service to ramp up its operations for households across the West Midlands which already has some of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the country. Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said:

“Many residents are facing cost of living pressures given upcoming energy bills and we want to extend a helping hand during these tough times by offering practical support. This valued support line will assist thousands of people – offering advice on managing bills and keeping warm as winter draws near.

“The additional £1m in funding secured for the Warmer Homes West Midlands programme will mainly be put towards training frontline staff and expanding how many calls they can take. It’s also encouraging to hear that home visits and direct community outreach are also being considered.

“If you’re feeling under strain and want to seek advice, don’t be afraid to get in touch via the freephone number 0808 196 8298 or by visiting the Warmer Homes WM website.”

Community outreach staff can also offer help with budgeting, access to grant funding and fuel supply and the installation of free energy saving measures such as draught proofing, heat reflective radiator foils and energy efficient lightbulbs. Rachel Jones, Act on Energy’s CEO, added:

“This funding has come not a moment too soon. We are in the grip of an energy crisis that will cause more people to fall into fuel poverty.

“This programme will enable vulnerable households to live in warmer and more affordable homes. Our outreach workers will work directly across local communities to address the impacts of fuel poverty which can affect every aspect of people’s lives.

“Our person-centred approach means that whether it’s over the phone or face to face, our support and guidance can make a big difference to someone’s health and wellbeing.”

The helpline sets out to tackle people’s fuel related issues before they spiral by sharing expertise and knowledge about the ill effects of cold and damp homes with health professionals, as well as training local volunteers to become community energy champions.

The grant funding has been awarded by the Energy Savings Trust through Ofgem’s Energy Redress Scheme – a scheme paid for by energy companies who may have breached Ofgem administered rules.


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