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Connected for Warmth scheme to provide free central heating in Birmingham

Woman sitting next to radiator with cup of tea
Published: Monday, 17th February 2020

Heating your home to at least 18C is important, especially if you have reduced mobility, are over 65 or, have a health condition.

Yet, it’s estimated that across Birmingham, more than 8,000 homes are without central heating and are unable to heat their home to the temperature needed to stay healthy and warm.

However, a scheme is now available to Birmingham residents to remedy this. Connected for Warmth is a programme, supported by Birmingham City Council, to install central heating for free into fuel poor and vulnerable homes. Its aims are to reduce bills, increase comfort in non-gas households, and improve health outcomes for residents.

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council said, “Heating is a basic human need that you just don’t expect people in Birmingham to be without. However, that’s the stark reality that thousands of families across our city are facing and it’s our most vulnerable citizens who are being affected. We’re hoping that through Connected for Warmth, as many Birmingham residents as possible can take advantage of this fantastic free service and help to get them out of fuel poverty.”

>Jeremy Nesbitt, managing director of Affordable Warmth Solutions said: “This new scheme will provide a fresh avenue out of fuel poverty for those struggling with the cost of heating their homes. As the temperature drops and we enter what’s projected to be a very cold winter the need for this kind of scheme has never been stronger. Connected for Warmth will be a valuable tool in the fight to ensure no one has to face the heart-breaking choice between heating and eating."

The scheme, which is available until 2021, won’t just be making things more comfortable for residents. The programme will be working alongside a number of other key initiatives all aimed at addressing fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment and chair of the Birmingham climate taskforce said, “We need to do all we can to ensure that in 2020, all of our residents stay healthy and warm while being energy efficient. If as a city, we are to become carbon neutral by 2030, we need to find a way to support those in fuel poverty while also managing our carbon footprint. I’m delighted that there’s schemes like LEAP, ECHO and HEART that can help people in Birmingham achieve this.”

Connected for Warmth is funded by the Warm Homes Fund, a £150 million national fund provided by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions. Cadent are also contributing towards the cost of the heating systems.

The scheme is run locally by AgilityEco in partnership with Birmingham City Council, installers and housing associations across the Cadent Gas area. It’s free for households and can also provide a free connection to the gas main if required, ensuring that those in need can benefit from affordable heat and hot water.

To apply for the Connected for Warmth scheme, please call (free) on 0800 029 4547 or visit: https://www.connectedforwarmth.org.uk/apply

ENDS

Notes to editor

The following are a number of schemes which Birmingham City Council would recommend to its residents to support with fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) can provide help and advice with energy switching, free energy saving measures, money advice and check if you’re eligible for insulation, a new appliance or even a new boiler. Please call LEAP on 0800 060 7567.

ECHO (Emergency Central Heating Offer) is a scheme that offers emergency assistance to fuel poor or vulnerable households to repair or replace broken or condemned boilers.

HEART is an initiative to support fuel poor and vulnerable households through the replacement of old, inefficient fridges, fridge/freezers, washing machines and cookers with modern, efficient alternatives.