With temperatures dropping, Tameside residents are being urged to ensure their home is ready for winter.
And help is at hand with a free central heating system available for those without, thanks to the Greater Manchester Warm Homes Fund.
Tameside Council is working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to fit 500 homes with gas central heating to reduce energy bills, keep vulnerable residents warm and well and help eradicate fuel poverty.
Edith Seymour-Smith, from Stalybridge, has already taken advantage of the offer in time for the winter weather.
The pensioner used to rely on a gas fire and portable heaters to stay warm but has now had a central heating system installed, including five radiators.
She now has peace of mind that the whole house will be kept warm this winter and uses a simple monitor to ensure that it’s kept at an ideal living temperature.
She recommends the Warm Homes Fund to others, adding: “You have to keep warm when you’re older.
“It’s an easy system to run and the house is now a lot warmer than before.”
The Greater Manchester Warm Homes Fund aims to provide a helping hand to vulnerable households that struggle to stay warm during the winter months and take people out of fuel poverty, where they are unable to afford to keep their home adequately heated.
The £1.8 million funding for the scheme has been secured by GMCA and the local authorities from the nationwide Warm Homes Fund established by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions.
Installations are on a first come, first served basis and once the money runs out the scheme will close to new applicants, so those who can benefit are urged to get in touch as soon as possible.
Both homeowners and private tenants can apply, though the latter must have their landlord’s permission.
Cllr Allison Gwynne, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “There are many people in the borough that, like Edith, don’t have central heating and rely on room heaters that provide inadequate warmth and are inefficient and expensive to run.
“We want to help even more people in Tameside benefit from this great scheme as being stuck in a cold home that they’re struggling to heat can leave people at risk of serious health problems or getting into debt.
“So if you or someone you know has old storage heaters, gas fires or open fires and is struggling to stay warm, why not see if you qualify?”
To find out more, and to book a visit from the Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) to ensure you can benefit, please contact 0800 038 5737 or visit www.warmhomes.org.uk
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