Support from the Warm Home Check service, East Sussex – 10th April 2020
Fuel voucher scheme – extended eligibility during COVID-19 restriction
Cold snaps are still a risk for a few more weeks and, with people staying at home, energy costs for households may be increasing during this period. The Warm Home Check service continues to offer telephone advice for anyone struggling to afford to keep warm at home, with money-saving advice and tips on how to stay snug for less.
During this period the service can still offer practical help for eligible households in certain situations where a lack of heating or hot water presents a significant risk to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable residents. The service can also deliver emergency temporary heaters to eligible households.
If households on a pre-payment energy meter are currently in financial crisis, then the Sussex fuel voucher scheme could help. The council-supported energy supplier, Your Energy Sussex, has provided money from its fuel poverty fund to make emergency fuel vouchers available to qualifying households across East and West Sussex as well as Brighton & Hove. You do not have to be a Your Energy Sussex customer to receive a voucher.
The vouchers are for vulnerable residents (i.e. due to age or a health condition) who are on limited incomes or means-tested benefits and are facing difficult financial circumstances. Householders that meet the financial criteria and are shielding or self-isolating as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak will now also be included under the eligibility criteria. Each voucher has a value of £28 for an individual or £49 for a family. However, due to government advice on leaving the house and many residents needing to self-isolate or be shielded, it is possible that qualifying residents can be issued with up to three vouchers at once. Further vouchers may be applied for if the current measures are extended beyond 3 months.
The vouchers are available from the Warm Home Check service (local Citizens Advice services in East Sussex) along with details of the full eligibility criteria. The service will carry out an eligibility assessment, answer any questions and issue the fuel voucher which the householder can take to their nearest PayPoint, Payzone or Post Office outlet to top up their key meter. Those with mobility issues, who are shielding, or who are in self-isolation with no-one available to top-up the card on their behalf should speak to the Warm Home Check service, who may be able to arrange for the card to be topped up and delivered to them.
The best way to refer to the Warm Home Check service – or for clients to enquire – is by using the simple online form available at: www.warmeastsussex.org.uk.
Anyone can also text WARM to 81400 or call 03444 111444.
In addition, professionals can contact the service on 01424 721386 with any specific queries.