One in ten Oldham households face fuel poverty

Date published: 23 February 2018

Today, on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, figures show that 1 in 10 households in Oldham are facing fuel poverty, where a choice has to be made between eating and heating.

Last year alone, cold homes contributed to 34,3002 excess winter deaths in England and Wales.

Fuelling Connections, a local community project run through Facebook launched last year aims to bring communities together and provide support to those who are finding it difficult to pay their fuel bills in Oldham.

The project, funded by The ScottishPower Energy People Trust, encourages residents across the area to like and follow the new Facebook page ‘Fuelling Connections Oldham’ which provides energy saving advice and information on free services available to help people struggling to pay energy bills – many of which people are unaware of.

It will also provide an opportunity for both local residents and experts to share top tips on saving money and reducing bills.

Welcoming the new campaign, Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: “The fact that fuel poverty is even an issue in this day and age is a disgrace as no one should be struggling to keep themselves warm. I welcome this project, working collaboratively with the Council led Warm Homes Oldham initiative, and other local agencies, to help alleviate fuel poverty across the borough.”

Fuelling Connections was initiated by environmental charity Hubbub and after a successful pilot in three constituencies, is now being rolled out across a number of areas across the country.

Oldham Council and local organisation If Oldham are supporting the development of the project.

Supported by National Energy Action’s, Warm Homes Campaign the organisations are coming together this morning to discuss the local issue.

Nikki Davies, Founder of If Oldham, partner of the project locally, said: ‘’It only takes an unexpected event such as illness, redundancy or relationship to fall into fuel poverty.

"We often see people who struggle to keep warm in the winter.

"We hope Fuelling Connections will teach them about available support on a local and national level they didn’t know existed, and encourage them to undertake steps to reduce their energy bills. Like keeping draughts out.”

Speaking about the award-winning Warm Homes Oldham scheme, which Oldham Council leads, Cllr Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “We know some residents are living in fuel poverty or struggling to pay their bills and that is why we are doing our bit to help them.

"We hope residents will benefit from an online community like Fuelling Connections, sharing tips and advice on saving money on your energy bills.”

Fuelling Connections Oldham is currently supported by The ScottishPower Energy People Trust.

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