Is your Home Warm Enough?
Many people in Northern Ireland find it difficult to heat their homes. Statistics from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s House Condition Survey of 2009 indicated that 23,210 households within the 'Mid-Antrim' proposed Council area, which comprises Ballymena Borough Council, Larne Borough Council and Carrickfergus Borough Council areas, are fuel poor equating to 43.2% of total households.
Fuel poverty is defined as the situation in which a household has to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain an acceptable level of temperature throughout the home. This is generally accepted as 21oC in the living room and 18oC in other occupied rooms.
Causes of Fuel Poverty
The causes of fuel poverty are poor housing stock, inadequate heating systems, poorly insulated and draughty homes, snaps of cold weather, a need for higher temperatures, low income, debt and high fuel prices.
Who is at risk?
• Older people
• People with a disability
• Young children and babies
• People living on low incomes
Where does the heat go?
Visit the Energy Saving Trust’s home energy check calculator to see if you could save money:
Could you be entitled to more money?
Many people do not claim all the benefits they are entitled to. Advice agencies can do benefit checks to help people maximise their incomes. Maximising income can help reduce fuel poverty and entitlement to certain social security benefits can be a passport to grants to make homes warmer.
Useful telephone contacts for benefit checks are:
Larne Jobs & Benefits Office:
59 Pound Street, Larne. Tel: 028 2826 3200
Social Security Agency
Ballymoney office: Tel. 028 2766 0100
Phone lines open: 9am to 5pm Monday to Wednesday
10am to 5pm Thursday
9am to 5pm Friday
Or visit the SSA website at:
Citizen’s Advice Bureau,
Park Lodge, 49 Victoria Road, Larne, BT40 1RT
Larne CAB - 028 28 26 0379
Or visit the CAB website at:
Age NI, 3 Lower Crescent, Belfast BT7 1NR, Northern Ireland.
Telephone number is 028 9024 5729
Access to Benefits (a2b)
Unit 40, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG. T: 028 90 754 070