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Making winter warmth easier

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: December 09, 2013

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ASHBOURNE’S elderly and vulnerable people are to get more help with ‘affordable warmth’ plans.

Funding has been approved by Derbyshire County Council to support people most at risk of ill health from living in cold and damp conditions.

The move is part of the council’s public health commitment to tackling fuel poverty, reducing the number of deaths due to cold weather and impacting on health care costs.

Current affordable warmth offers, including loft and cavity wall insulation and energy efficient boiler replacements, rely on hit-and-miss marketing techniques such as cold calling which are not effectively targeted at those who could benefit the most.

The council is investing £376,000 over two years to make sure the most vulnerable benefit by identifying those who live in the least energy efficient homes, are on low incomes and have long-term conditions associated with excess winter deaths.

They will be contacted by a health professional and referred to their council who will provide practical or financial support including boiler installation and insulation.

This will include removing barriers some people may face such as the need for a loft clearance before insulation is fitted or replacing old pipework before a new boiler is installed.

Councillor Dave Allen said: “The main aim of our investment is to increase the number of vulnerable households getting access to affordable warmth and energy efficiency support and specifically targeting those people who need it the most.

“Evidence shows residents are more likely to take notice of advice about their wellbeing if they hear it from a health professional and it is not acceptable for those most in need to rely on a chance marketing call inviting them to apply for help.”

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