Northamptonshire residents are struggling to pay their heating bills including boiler repairs, gas safety checks, and servicing.
According to the latest statistics from the government, one out of ten, or more than 30.000 Northamptonshire residents are having a hard time to pay for their heating bills— or simply known as fuel poverty. Fuel poverty occurs when people allot upwards of 10% of their income to cover heating costs. The government believes that at this point, there is now at least one in them households facing this problem.
According to Community Law Serve, an advice charity at Northamptonshire, there are more and more people seeking help from welfare reforms as well. Advice services manager Sarah Hayle explains that low income in households, as well as low income due to illness that prevent people from working, and even unemployment are three main reasons they see as contributing factors to fuel poverty.
She further explains that despite providing welfare services, it may not be enough to completely solve the problem. There are some people who live in poorly insulated homes and still have to pay more because of more expensive fuel. If their homes are poorly insulated, they cannot make their homes warm enough to be comfortable without wasting too much fuel. Huge amounts of fuel would be necessary to heat up a room with improper insulation, and with fuel prices on the rise, these households would have to pay significantly more than others with properly insulated properties.
For those who want to seek welfare services in the area, the Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service provides free and confidential services including energy consumption reviews, which would show homeowners how they have been using energy, and some things they can do to lower consumption. They also offer a financial health check, which looks at the financial status of residents. This information is very useful for those who want to apply for benefits, debt allowances, and grants. Information and advice packs are also given out to help them reduce their utility bills, as well as minor boiler repairs, servicing, and gas safety checks.