Don’t let grants go to waste

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MILLIONS of pounds in energy efficiency grants could go to waste as not enough people know about the support, Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has said.

The Warm Front scheme offers an average of £2,500 to fuel-poor homes across the country to contribute to loft, cavity wall and hot water tank insulation, draught proofing or central heating improvements.

But the programme, which is available to people receiving certain benefits, is due to end next March.

Now Mr Lavery is calling on the Government to do more to promote the scheme and is encouraging his constituents to tap into it before it is too late.

“Warm Front has helped very many people right across the country to ensure they are living in warmer, better insulated homes, as well as crucially saving them money at a time when energy bills have been soaring.

“In my own constituency the scheme has certainly benefited home owners living in so-called fuel poverty,” he said.

“Concerns are being raised, however, that many more people are missing out on these grants simply because they are unaware of them and as a result as much as £25m could go unclaimed before the scheme is withdrawn next year and the funding reverts to the Treasury.

“The grants are not being taken up quickly enough partly due to the restrictive criteria applied to them, but equally importantly because not enough people know about them.

“Grants need to be claimed within the next six months to ensure installation work can be carried out before next year’s deadline and I would urge anyone in my constituency who thinks they might qualify to enquire about the scheme as a matter of urgency.”

The MP is also urging the Government to review the criteria for grants to make it less stringent.