Free gas boilers to help tackle fuel poverty

Community Challenge launch (captions L-R: Maureen Fields (NEA), Hayley Grocock (British Gas), Graeme Stephenson (WUN), Lorraine Donaldson (NEA).
Community Challenge launch (captions L-R: Maureen Fields (NEA), Hayley Grocock (British Gas), Graeme Stephenson (WUN), Lorraine Donaldson (NEA).
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Eligible people in Hartlepool could benefit from a free gas boiler as part of a scheme aimed at tackling fuel poverty.

The Community Challenge scheme helps local people to lower their energy bills and make their homes more energy efficient. Now, it has joined forces with Voluntary Organisations Network North East (VONNE) to help identify homes that would benefit from this support.

Through VONNE, the scheme will also encourage selected charities and voluntary organisations to refer eligible households to ‘Warm Up North’ for a free British Gas boiler. Organisations that refer residents through the Community Challenge will receive £40 from Warm Up North per successful boiler installation, to reinvest in their community projects.

Warm Up North is a partnership between British Gas and nine councils, including Hartelpool, which launched the Community Challenge last year with fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA).

Through the Community Challenge, NEA will also provide training to community workers on how to spot the signs of fuel poverty.

Christine Tate, from British Gas said: “By getting free, energy efficient boilers and advice on how to make homes more energy efficient, we can help those most in need to access affordable warmth.

“I urge any organisation interested in getting involved in the programme to contact VONNE and help make a real difference to the energy efficiency of homes across the North East.”

Organisations interested in applying can contact VONNE by emailing abi.lunn@vonne.org.uk or visit www.vonne.org.uk/communitychallenge