Residents across the Scarborough borough are being urged to make use of a help service after it was revealed that the area has a higher than average rate of fuel poverty.
New figures show that in 2016, more than 12% of homes in the borough were classed as being in fuel poverty. The figure is 1% above the average for England and 3% above those people living in Harrogate and Selby.
North Yorkshire County Council has now renewed its Warm and Well service to give people who are struggling to heat their homes a point of contact to get help.
The service is delivered by Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire for the whole of North Yorkshire and will now run through September 2020 following a £50,000 boost from North Yorkshire County Council’s public health grant.
In the first year of the service, 259 referrals have been received from across the county. It is expected that this number will increase over the next few months as more agencies are aware of the service.
A household is considered to be fuel poor if it has higher than typical energy costs and would be left with a disposable income below the poverty line if it spent the required money to meet those costs.
A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman said: “Living in cold homes can affect the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people of all ages in North Yorkshire. Cold homes can affect respiratory illness, mental health and can lead to extra winter deaths.
“After the cold winter last year it is important that people are aware of the practical help and support that is available through the Warm and Well programme. It offers practical support around switching suppliers, accessing home improvements, improving fuel efficiency and accessing benefit entitlements.
“Warm and Well can be contacted by phone on 01609 767555, email at email@example.com or visit the website for more information at www.warmandwell.org.uk"