Fuel poverty hits thousands

Thousands of people in the district are living in fuel poverty - according to latest Government figures.
Rod Munro at Sleaford Foodbank at Sleaford Newlife Centre. EMN-160829-145948001Rod Munro at Sleaford Foodbank at Sleaford Newlife Centre. EMN-160829-145948001
Rod Munro at Sleaford Foodbank at Sleaford Newlife Centre. EMN-160829-145948001

The Fuel Poverty report says that around 4288 people in North Kesteven (around 9.1 per cent of households) are struggling - or are unable to heat their homes.

Rod Munro, Community Impact Manager at Sleaford New Life Church, which operates the Community Larder food bank for people in need, said he believes the situation may get worse.

He said: “It’s not just being unable to heat their homes, but being unable to cook food. We find that the people who do come to us asking for support are people who are on a low or mimimum income. This is particularly single people aged 18-30 who don’t have a multiple household income, or pensioners whose loved one has passed on.

“We work with agencies and organisations who refer people to us but people can also contact us directly if they are in need.

“We have delivered food parcels and have gone into homes with pasta and sauce but they have no gas or electricity to cook the food and we have helped make arrangements to get credit put onto their meter.

“We find this is a particular issue in rural areas where they may have electric but they do not have gas and so people have to pay for coal or oil.

“While we have noticed over the last year the number of people we see in fuel poverty has stabilised, if oil prices go up, which I expect, this will become worse.”

Those struggling to heat their homes could qualify for help from the Lincolnshire Central Heating Fund which could fit an entire central heating system for free to those who qualify.

To find out if you could be eligible, contact the Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency on 01522 516300 or email [email protected] . They will carry out entitlement checks, and arrange a technical home survey if you’re eligible. The deadline to apply is the end of August as funding is only available for a limited time.