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ACT FAST TO CHECK IF YOU CAN CLAIM WINTER BILL DISCOUNTS

Bury Council and Six Town Housing are encouraging anyone in the borough who may be struggling to pay bills to check if they are eligible to receive £140 off the cost of their winter heating from the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. The Warm Home Discount is a government-led scheme that provides rebates on electricity bills to eligible consumers, taking the form of a one off discount. People may be eligible if their electricity supplier is part of the scheme, their name (or partners name) is on the bill and they receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if receiving Savings Credits as well). However, others may also be eligible, because some energy suppliers also offer the discount to a ‘broader group’ of customers who are vulnerable to falling into fuel poverty. Sharon McCambridge, Chief Executive at Six Town Housing – who manage homes on behalf of Bury Council – is urging people to act quickly to check if they can claim the discount. “We manage homes for some of the most vulnerable people in Bury and know that some have difficulties covering the high cost of energy bills. No one should suffer the cold, so we urge them to check if they can claim this discount.” “The deadline for numerous energy companies is at the end of this month, so any residents in Bury who think they may be eligible should contact their energy suppliers straight away to find out – even if they have received the discount in previous years as it needs to be a new application.” Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said, “Keeping well in winter is really important, especially for residents who have long-term conditions where the cold can badly affect their health. I welcome this payment if it makes heating more affordable and would urge people to apply for it. Why not talk to your elderly relatives, friends and neighbours about whether they may be eligible for this payment?” Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, cabinet member for finance and housing, said, “It is a modern day scandal that so many people are in fuel poverty and struggle to heat their homes. We know that having a safe, decent and warm home is a huge factor in the health and wellbeing of our residents, so we welcome any attempt to offer relief. Ultimately though, the Government needs to ensure there is a radical shake-up of our broken energy market. Moreover, we will continue to work locally on additional ways to reduce the cost of energy and tackle poverty in all its forms.” As well as contacting their suppliers directly, those who want more information can visit www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme

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