New figures show that in the Borders, 4500 ( 10% of households) are entitled to some form of assistance with their fuel bills and people are being encouraged to contact the Home Heat Helpline for more information.
The number for the Home Heat Helpline is 0800 33 66 99 or you can visit www.homeheathelpline.org.uk. It is a free service that provides independent advice to people on low incomes on how to get help with their gas and electricity bills (the average amount is £250 per household) and information about grants for insulation or a new boiler.
Lending his support to the campaign, Borders MP Michael Moore said: “Fuel poverty is a serious issue here in the Borders and Scotland and as local MP I have been campaigning for fairer bills and an end to fuel poverty for many years.
“There is assistance which is available to people who are struggling with their bills so I do want to encourage Borderers to call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. Around 4500 Borders households are entitled to some support and I don’t want to see any of them missing out on this assistance to help them stay warm.
“I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the Home Heat Helpline.”
Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline also advises people to think about what they can do around the home to reduce their energy consumption:
“As well as calling the Home Heat Helpline to find out what financial assistance is available there are some other simple steps people can take. For example: turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally; switch your lights off when you’re not using them; turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not being used; replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones; regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it’s operating at full efficiency; draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room; move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room; open internal doors of any rooms which get more sun than others and let the warm air travel around your home”.