CORNISH residents are being urged to check whether they are eligible for funds which could help keep the winter chill at bay.
The £100 million Glow Cornwall programme helps subsidise loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, boiler repair or replacement and possible annual savings of up to £600 on average household energy bills.
The UK’s first scheme of its type is particularly aimed at vulnerable households and older hard to treat homes by reducing the amount of energy used and costs, while providing jobs and contracts for local companies.
Felicity Owen, director of public health for Cornwall, said: “Some 20 per cent of people in Cornwall face fuel poverty and 40,000 already have pre-existing ill health conditions, making them more vulnerable to further illness.
“Each winter, cold, damp and mouldy homes compound existing ill health, particularly affecting the elderly, the young, people affected by long-term conditions and mental health. This has meant an average of 300 to 350 extra winter deaths every year”When homes are warmer and more affordable to heat, people can improve their health and the quality of their homes and lives.”
Councillor Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for economy and culture, helped set up the Glow Cornwall initiative and said: “In Cornwall we have lots of rural housing and older housing stock which means that in the colder months, many of our more vulnerable residents are even more in danger.
“I really urge anyone to check out the Glow Cornwall website or call the helpline to find out what elements their home is eligible for. Particularly if they are recipients of any benefits, residents should get in touch to check out the new systems they could be receiving.”
For more information visit www.glowcornwall.co.uk or call 0800 316 4425.