Need advice about keeping your home warm, heating it safely or struggling to pay bills?
First Contact Plus runs the Warm Homes service for free advice and information on ways to reduce heating costs and stay warm in your home. For advice call the team on 0116 305 4286.
Residents can benefit from a home visit by the Warm Homes Officer providing free energy saving items such as LED light bulbs, radiator reflectors, chimney balloons and much more.
Get support with:
- Checking energy tariffs – are you paying more than you need to on your energy bills?
- Grants for heating and insulation measures
- Energy debt management and help to clear it
- Checking heating and hot water controls
- Understanding your properties Energy Performance Certificate
- Accessing subsidies offered by your energy supplier
- Support for vulnerable residents
Home energy advice:
Grants for energy efficiency measures such as insulation and boiler replacement:
Click here to view details of the ECO scheme (Energy Company Obligation) and newly introduced ‘flexible eligibility’ to see if you qualify for free or subsidised improvements.
Switching energy tariffs:
Internet price comparison sites help you to find the best deal for your energy by comparing the energy tariffs from many different suppliers at once. Residents have reported average savings over £230 a year. The Ofgem Confidence Code is a Code of Practice that governs independent energy price comparison sites. This code insists that its members follow key principles for how they operate their service. The sites covered by the Confidence Code act independently of suppliers and therefore produce unbiased results. All of the comparison sites are free to use and give detailed information on each tariff produced in the search. Many services operate freephone telephone services to help if you are not sure where to start.
Help with energy arrears:
A number of charitable trust funds sometimes known as hardship funds can support residents who are struggling with arrears. Contact your energy supplier initially to find out if they have a partnership in place. If not, you can apply to the British Gas Energy Trust regardless of which company supplies your energy.
Citizens Advice provide free advice on budgeting, debt and benefit issues. This link provides details for local offices in Leicestershire. They can help residents apply for support in clearing debts and setting up repayment plans.
Payments to help you keep your home warm;
Check your eligibility for several heating related benefits:
Top tips to reduce condensation:
- Put lids on pans when cooking
- Close kitchen and bathroom doors when they are being used
- Avoid drying washing indoors if you can. If you can’t, dry it one room with the door closed and a window open to let the warm moist air out
- When having a bath, put the cold water in first to reduce the amount of steam
Ventilate to remove moisture;
- Use extractor fans if you have them
- Regularly air wardrobes, cupboards and drawers and don’t over fill them
- Open the curtains during the day
- After showering or bathing, open the window and close the door to let the warm air out
Heat, insulate and draught-proof;
- Run the heating for periods of at least 3 hours at a temperature of at least 18 degrees C, especially if the house is occupied during the day
- Try to maintain low level background heating in all rooms
- It is cheaper and more efficient to run gas central heating by using the programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves (TVRs) if fitted
The Priority Service Register:
As part of their licence obligations, domestic gas and electricity suppliers must offer special services to customers who are vulnerable and/or have a special need. Some suppliers include young parents on their priority service register. The Priority Service Register includes things like;
- A meter reading service (avoiding estimated bills)
- Controls and adapters for appliances
- Priority in an emergency, this could include being provided with alternate heating and cooking facilities in the event of a disconnection.
Keep warm in cold weather with our top tips:
- Eat For Heat
If you’ve used the oven to cook, leave the door open after it has been switched off to let the hot air circulate.
- Layer Up
One thick layer won’t keep you as warm as plenty of thin ones so pile them on. Thinner layers are often cheaper to buy too.
- A warm glow
A few candles can give off a surprising amount of heat, just be careful where you put them and never leave them unattended.
- Give your radiators some space
Keeping furniture away from radiators and removing items from beneath them enables the warm air to circulate around the room.
- Close off the cold
By keeping the door shut, the room you’re in will heat up more quickly and stay warmer for longer. Closing the doors of rooms not being used will also help to keep out the cold.
- Ditch the draughts
Using draught excluders against your front and back doors is a cheap way to keep out the cold.
- Get snug in your seat
Rather than reaching for the thermostat, try sitting on a low wattage heated seat cover.
8. As the nights draw in…
Draw the curtains at night even in rooms not being used to prevent heat escaping through your windows. Don’t forget to open them again in the morning to let any sunshine in to heat your home for free.
- Hug a hot water bottle
Fill up a hot water bottle and switch off your heating before you go to bed. Make sure it is set to come on again before you get up to avoid frosty feet!
Please refer to the links below in Useful Resources; where you can find more comprehensive information
Can’t find the information on the website or need further support? You can fill in our online form below (red referral button in the bottom right corner) and we will get back to you within two working days.
What's in My Area:
- Cadent At Cadent our job is to connect customers to the gas they use; whether it's homes, factories, shops or businesses....
- Citizens Advice Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills
- Frozen Condensate – don’t get caught out this winter! Freezing cold weather can cause boiler condensate pipes to freeze, which can prevent the boiler from functioning. This video shows...
- Gas Safe The Offical List Of Gas Businesses
- Health Through Warmth The scheme aims to improve levels of warmth, comfort and quality of life for vulnerable people with long-term illnesses who...
- Money Saving Expert
- Priority Service Register Join the Western Power Priority Service Register. Click here for the eligibility criteria and to see how to register
- Stay Well This Winter – Get Ready for Winter Advice to Protect Your Property this Winter.
- Stay Well This Winter – Keep warm and well this winter It’s important to keep warm in order to keep colds, flu and other more serious illnesses at bay.
- The Warm Home Discount Scheme – GOV.UK For winter 2017 to 2018, you could get £140 off your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme
- Top tips to maintain central heating
- Turn2us Turn2us is a national charity which provides financial support to help people get back on track.
- Warm Homes Leaflet Final June 2017
With Regards to the boiler being fitted...the Warm Homes Officer "was a lovely guy, spot on".