No heating? Broken heating?
When your heating systems stops working it can be a very worrying time. Heating repairs and replacements can be expensive, and some households may not be able to afford to pay for these. Here you will find further information on the support available for low income households, and further information on boiler maintenance and safety.
Please note most schemes available to support with the cost of a replacement heating system are not emergency response. So if you have an old heating system it is worth exploring grant options before it breaks, leaving you in the cold.
Below are a list of grants and scheme that may be able to offer a grant or assistance for broken or old inefficient heating.
- Local Council Scheme: Low income households with health conditions or vulnerabilities may be eligible for a Local Council scheme for boiler repairs or replacement. You can check what your Local Authority has available.
- ECO (Energy Company Obligation) is the main Government scheme for supporting energy efficiency improvements including insulation and some heating improvements in low income and vulnerable households. You may qualify for ECO if you claim certain benefits and meet other requirements. The Government’s Simple Energy Advice website has a grant eligibility questionnaire. You can check with your energy supplier if they take part in the scheme. ECO can help with roof, cavity and solid wall insulation. Electric heating and some boiler replacements.
- The West Sussex Local Authority Flexibility Scheme (LA FLEX) is an energy saving scheme. It is part of the Government’s national ECO scheme. It allows Local Authorities to set a wider criteria for households to receive grants for energy saving measures. The focus is on low income and vulnerable households, and homes with high heating costs. Measures include cavity/loft/solid wall insulation and electric heating and some boiler replacements, eligibility is not benefit dependent.
- Warmer Homes : If your home does not have central heating, you could benefit from Warmer Homes. This includes if you have no heating, or electric only heating. Warmer Homes is provided by Agility Eco – our LEAP Partners, they offer free* central heating systems including a new gas connection if needed. *Subject to survey and eligibility. This is available for homeowners and private rented homes.
- The Emergency Central Heating Offer (ECHO) is an emergency solution to help vulnerable households who find themselves without heat and hot water due to boiler breakdown. ECHO is provided by our Partners Agility Eco. This is available for homeowners and private rented homes. This is for boiler replacement only not central heating or electric heating. Please note this scheme is subject to eligibility checks and can close to new referrals if the scheme becomes oversubscribed. Contact LEAP on 0800 060 7567
Still unsure what grant scheme you could apply for? Contact your local home energy advisor.
Regular maintenance will not only save you money in the long run but could also save your life as a faulty boiler can be fatal. Money Supermarket provides a useful boiler maintenance guide .
Boiler breakdown cover
Boiler care is a product designed to offer you protection in the event that your boiler breaks down and you are left without adequate heating, hot water or both. This option suits some households, and it is always worth reading the small print to find out what exclusions may apply. Money Supermarket provides a handy guide for boiler care packages.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Incorrectly installed, faulty, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated cooking and heating appliances can give off carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste but causes approximately 30 accidental deaths per year in England and Wales. Low levels can cause serious harm to your health if breathed in over a long time.
To reduce the risk of CO poisoning:
- Remember to get your heating system checked every year using a heating engineer registered with Gas Safe (for gas), OFTEC (for oil) or HETAS (for solid fuel).
- Have flues and chimneys swept and cleaned at least once a year before the start of winter (more if you use them often). Find a HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep .
- Fit an audible CO alarm that meets European Standard EN50291.
- Look out for warning signs that your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as; black sooty marks around stoves, boilers or fires; smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues; and gas appliances burning with a yellow instead of a blue flame.
If your CO alarm is triggered, or you believe any of your appliances are not working correctly:
- turn off the appliance,
- open your windows,
- arrange for a registered engineer to check the appliance as soon as possible.
If you are suffering any symptoms of CO poisoning, you should go outside and call NHS 111 for advice.
National Grid To report a gas or carbon monoxide emergency, or if a pipeline is struck (even if no gas leak has occurred) call 0800 111 999 – 24 hours a day.
Further home heating safety advice
- Visit the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to get further information of home safety, fire safety booklets and if you may be eligible for a Safe and Well Visit.
- If you have open fires, make sure you always use a fireguard to protect against sparks and hot embers. Make sure the fire is properly put out before you go to bed.
- If you use portable heaters, keep them away from curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes. Only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas.
- Use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years – your local fire service may be able to do this for you. Remember never to use an electric blanket and a hot water bottle together.
SGN Keeping Safe