Firmus energy has launched a £1.2m Home Comfort Fund to tackle fuel poverty.
In partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, firmus energy is offering eligible households in the Derry and Strabane area a range of benefits including: half the cost of a natural gas installation, a remote smart thermostat, fully funded insulation measures and free LED lightbulbs.
Welcoming the home comfort fund to the area is Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Michaela Boyle, pictured with firmus energy’s local energy adviser, David Ramsey.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Michaela Boyle recently met Firmus Energy to hear how local residents could be eligible for its ‘Home Comfort 50/50’ grant to switch to natural gas and improve the energy efficiency of their home.
In partnership with the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme, Firmus energy is offering eligible households a range of benefits including half the cost of a natural gas installation, a remote smart thermostat, fully funded insulation measures and free LED lightbulbs.
The main reason for fuel poverty in Northern Ireland is a combination of our climate, lower incomes, higher fuel price and a high dependence on oil. Around 68% of households use oil and this rises to over 80% of households in rural areas.
This over-dependence on one unregulated fuel means fuel poverty is particularly acute in the firmus energy gas network area where households have only had the opportunity to switch to natural gas in recent years.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Michaela Boyle said: “We are very pleased to support firmus energy at the launch of the new ‘home comfort’ scheme. Eligible Derry and Strabane residents may benefit from this grant, which will offer significant financial help towards switching their homes to natural gas.”
“There are a limited number of grants available which will offer significant financial help towards switching to natural gas, so any residents interested should contact firmus energy directly. Natural gas offers a cleaner, more efficient and responsive home heating system in comparison to oil. The added insulation package will allow families to save even more, which will help to lower household bills.
A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its income on energy costs, so improving household energy efficiency is one of the easiest and quickest way to get out of fuel poverty.
Firmus energy’s local energy advisor, David Ramsey commented: “We understand that many families and individuals are under financial pressure and we are delighted to be able to offer a range of Home Comfort grants to help reduce the level of fuel poverty within the firmus energy network area. We have a range of grants available to owner occupiers and private renting tenants to convert their homes from various fuel sources including coal, tanked gas, Economy 7, oil or even homes without a heating system.
“Firmus energy is the only energy company in the UK to train its staff in City and Guilds Energy Awareness and our team carried out 3,000 free home energy audits in 2018, offering homeowners advice and recommendations on how to improve their energy efficiency within the home.
“It may seem odd to be talking about fuel poverty just after the longest day of the year, but now is the time to get your home energy efficiency right and our energy advisers are able to provide expert advice. ”
The Home Comfort grant allows customers to switch to natural gas, improve their home insulation, and take control of their heating system through a smart natural gas thermostat meaning you only heat the water you use.