Oldham residents have been enjoying the unusually good weather for the last few weeks.
And while cold weather may not have even entered your mind now is the perfect time to make sure your home is ready for winter.
Those who don’t have a central heating system in their home are being offered an opportunity to get one for free.
The limited offer is part of Greater Manchester Warm Homes Fund which will install fully-funded ‘first-time’ central heating systems to 500 homes across Greater Manchester - on a first come first served basis.
The fund aims to provide a helping hand to vulnerable households which would struggle to stay warm during the winter months.
It is open to owner occupiers who meet certain conditions based on income, health or other personal circumstances.
The scheme will close to new applications once all the funds have been allocated so qualifying households are encouraged to apply without delay.
The £1.8 million funding for the scheme has been secured by GMCA and the local authorities from the nationwide Warm Homes Fund established by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions.
This new central heating funding compliments Warm Homes Oldham - funded by Oldham Council, Oldham Housing Investment Partnership and Oldham NHS CCG – which offers grants for insulation, boilers, energy advice support, income maximisation, energy switching and the fitting of small energy devices.
Councillor Hannah Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “It’s estimated that more than 1,500 homes in Oldham don’t have central heating.
“Instead people are relying on storage heaters and room heaters which are expensive to run and don’t provide adequate warmth.
“In the borough our Warm Homes Oldham scheme has already supported 5,700 people who are in fuel poverty* and we hope this initiative will help even more.
“It’s not right that in this day and age people are getting into debt or falling ill because they are too poor to heat their homes properly.
“This initiative is a great example of public and private sector agencies coming together to make a real difference to people’s lives. If you know anyone that would benefit, or anyone that works with households who struggle to heat their homes, please let them know.”
The first step in the process for Oldham households is to get in touch with Warm Homes Oldham to check their eligibility by calling 0800 019 1084. For more information see www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/warmhomesfund
*A household is considered to be fuel poor if they have required fuel costs that are above average and, if they were to spend that amount, they would be left with an income below the official poverty line.