Feeling hot, hot, hot!

Community groups will find out how to keep warm this winter by attending Merton Council’s ‘Warm Homes – An All Year Issue’ seminar, from 9.30am – 2pm on Friday 20 June 2003, at the Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Road, Morden.

The seminar aims to tackle fuel poverty issues locally and to spread the word across community organisations that they could still be eligible for free government-funded Warm Front grants of up to £2,500 to improve the heating and insulation in their homes.

The MP for Mitcham and Morden, Siobhain McDonagh, will host the event, which is organised by Merton Council and Eaga Partnerships Ltd, managers of the Warm Front scheme. Over a thousand Merton residents have already taken advantage of the free Warm Front grant, which began in June 2000.

Estimates suggest that around a further 3500 households in the borough could be eligible to apply for a grant, which helps local residents save energy, cut the cost of their fuel bills and keep their homes warm during the winter months. Every home benefiting from a Warm Front grant can expect to save an average of £155 per year on their fuel bills. Some of the coldest and most energy inefficient homes have saved over £400 from their annual fuel bills.

Emma Jenkinson, Eaga Partnership’s Network Liaison Officer works closely with organisations across London to help promote Warm Front grants. She explained, “Warm Front grants are the nation’s best kept secret! We rely on the involvement of local councils and community organisations to take the message that these grants exist into the homes of those people who most need them. The work undertaken in Merton is a great example of the success that comes from community involvement”

For further information on the Warm Homes – An All year Issue seminar, contact Merton Council’s Environmental Health Officer, Rory Doyle, on 020 8545 3007.

To qualify for a Warm Front Grant residents must own their home or rent from a private landlord, and they also need to be in receipt of an income or disability related benefit. Local residents can contact the Warm Front Team on 0800 316 6019 to apply for a grant.