Don’t miss out on help with winter fuel bills

FAMILIES in Northumberland could be missing out on grants to help ease winter heating bills, according to a county fuel company.

The money, available under the Government’s Warm Front scheme, has been set aside to help households on lower incomes install insulation and draft proofing and improve out-of-date heating systems.

Certain households can claim up to £3,500 from the scheme or up to £6,000 if they use oil central heating or an equivalent alternative technology.

But millions of pounds remain unclaimed as the scheme under-spent last year and Rix Petroleum North East, based near Felton, is hoping that the relevant people in Northumberland who have yet to benefit from the funding do not miss out this time round.

Manager Tim Claxton said: “There is a lot of money left in the pot and if it doesn’t get spent, it may just go back to the Treasury to be used in other budgets, which means few people will have seen the benefit of the scheme.

“With autumn upon us, and temperatures starting to decline, now is the optimum time to apply.

“News reports suggest with energy bills continually on the rise, many families will be keeping their heating turned down this winter, but getting a grant through the Warm Front scheme is one way they could avoid having to do this.”

He added that those who think they might qualify for it can apply online at the Warm Front website, over the phone, by post or by getting in touch with their local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, which can help with filling in application forms.