Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities has said that the Government’s intention to cut people Universal Credit allowance by £20 per week and rising fuel prices could see some of the Borough’s families making the stark choice between eating and heating their homes.
Cllr Hardy said: “The national price cap on energy prices rising by 12% on Friday 1st October and the Government cutting people’s Universal Credit uplift by £20 per week from Wednesday 6th October is going to be a double blow for Sefton families
“A high number of households across the Borough, many of them working but on lower wages face spending winter in a cold home or choosing between being warm or eating.
“This will be a disaster for those families, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.”
A 12% rise in the national energy price cap could see local people’s household fuel bills go up by around £100 per year. At the same time, people relying on Universal Credit face a £1,040 drop in their income.
With this in mind, Sefton Council is using Warm Homes Week to remind Borough’s families on low incomes can contact the Council’s Affordable Warmth Team at email@example.com or on 0151 934 2222 for assistance and advice on a range of topics. These include first time gas central heating, cavity wall insulation, boiler replacements and loft insulation.
Smart meters are also available to all homes to help families monitor their energy use.
Also, throughout October and November Sefton Council, in partnership with older people’s project, Sefton OPERA, will be hosting Keep Warm, Keep Well Events. Aimed at people aged 50 and over these Events are designed to ensure these older people are aware of the support available to them this winter.
Cllr Hardy added: “I want to reassure people in Sefton that our Affordable Warmth Team are here to help. We can help towards heating your home more efficiently, making your bills more affordable. The team are there to make sure that no one in Sefton should have to choose between food on the table or heating their home.”
Taking place in the UK from Monday 27th to Thursday 30th September, Warm Homes Week aims to raise awareness of measures to make your home more energy efficient and cheaper to heat as winter approaches. Not only do these measures save energy but they also save money, so the planet and people’s pocket are healthier.