STAFFORDSHIRE: Warmer Homes Stafford
Image: Stafford BC
A Stafford Borough Council cabinet member is appealing to residents to call for help if they’re worried about rising energy costs.
Cllr Jeremy Pert, responsible for communities and health, advised people who are concerned about increasing heating bills to get in touch now.
He said: “A rise in energy costs is never good news, but the timing and scale of this new price cap will be difficult for many residents in the borough still struggling with the impact of the pandemic, with fewer companies offering switching options.”
He urged residents: “Please do not bury your heads in the sand.
“If you are worried about how you can afford to heat your home because of the increase in your energy bill then I would urge you to contact Warmer Homes Stafford immediately to get help, advice and support.”
Warmer Homes Stafford is the council’s impartial energy advice service.
The scheme provides information on how to reduce energy bills, help with getting financial support and tips on improving energy efficiency and keeping warm.
Some are concerned that price rises could lead to those with mental health issues feeling more anxious about managing their condition as financial worries mount up.
The LDRS spoke with 23-year-old Rhys Smart, founder of the mental health podcast series Mentally Obsessed.
Mr Smart said: “My main concern, and honestly something that plays on my mind a lot, is the extortionate prices.
“I plain right refuse to put my heating on, unless, I really have to.”
He said he thinks about things he can cut back on, in order to stay within budget, and added: “No one should be overwhelmed or worried about how they’re going to keep themselves warm.”
The recent price cap increase, set by the government, is the biggest rise since it was introduced two years ago.
Mr Smart said: “It definitely puts immense pressure on my wellbeing overall.
He continued: “Thinking about it gives me some anxiety, it makes me feel sick with worry and concerns, it’s terrible.”
People on standard tariffs are set to see their energy bills go up by on average £139 a year, and customers who pay by a pre-payment meter will see an average increase of £153.
If you have concerns about your energy bills, you can get in touch with Warmer Homes Stafford by calling 0800 677 1785 or visiting www.warmerhomesstafford.org.uk.
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