9th May, 2021

Solihull residents struggling to pay fuel bills because of pandemic could get help

Sarah Mason 18th Jan, 2021

SILHILLIANS struggling to pay their fuel bulls and keep their homes warm due to financial difficulties as a result of the COVID pandemic could get support.

Solihull Council has commissioned Act on Energy and Age UK Solihull to deliver a winter fuel scheme for vulnerable households under the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.

Act on Energy will be handing out vouchers to those who use pre-payment meters or direct debit for their gas and electric or pay directly to the supplier for oil or LPG.

There’s also help and advice available for households which either don’t have any heating or have faulty heating in need of repair and maintenance.

There’s also help available to purchase white goods and other household essentials, such as food and clothing to help ensure that everyone in the borough are warm and fed during the winter.

Similarly, the council has commissioned Age UK Solihull to extend its Winter Warmth campaign to help more local residents stay warm and fed this winter by providing heating repairs, heater provision and other essentials such as warm clothing, blankets, quilts, electric blankets and food vouchers.

Lucy Garratt, director of services at Age UK Solihull, said: “This funding is for vulnerable households, not limited to those households in receipt of benefits, elderly or unwell, many other households are faced with the burden and worry of paying the next utility bill or affording the next food shop due to the pandemic.

“The money can offer households much needed breathing space and mean one less thing to worry about, which can make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Anyone who has seen a drop in income due to Covid or is in receipt of benefits should check the eligibility criteria and complete a self-referral form to see if they qualify for any help.

Alternatively, if you are unable to access the internet you can call the Freephone advice line on 0800 988 2881 from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday.

For general enquiries email partners@ageuksolihull.org.uk or you can call the Solihull Winter Warmth Helpline on 0121 704 8080 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Funding for both projects has been provided by Solihull Council via the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme, running until March 31.

The funding is a fixed amount and will be allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis.

To fill out an application form visit https://actonenergy.org.uk/project/act-on-energy-emergency-fuel-vouchers/

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