Drive to keep people warm could mean green job boost

A campaign to persuade older people to claim all the benefits they're entitled to will have a knock on effect of providing more work for those seeking to improve energy efficiency in homes.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, launched the city’s campaign on Friday saying that up to a third of older Londoners don’t claim the benefits they’re entitled to, including money to improve insulation and take the sting out of energy bills.

The same holds true for their carers.

City Hall has teamed up with the Energy Saving Trust, Age Concern London, Citizen’s Advice and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers in a campaign that will focus on providing practical advice on keeping homes warm.

Edward Hyams, chairman of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Many Londoners could be eligible to receive grants to help keep them warm year on year through loft or cavity wall insulation.

“We are urging them to pick up the phone and give us a call on 0800 512 012 to discuss simple actions they can take now as well as advice on grants.”

The push to persuade pensioners to take advantage of these grants could also lead to more work for those in the environmental sector.

Richard Barnes, Deputy Mayor of London, said: “There are grants available for older people to install insulation and central heating or energy efficiency measures in the home – some of these can be obtained for free.

“There is also lots of practical advice available on keeping yourself and your home as warm as possible. The Mayor and I urge London’s pensioners and carers to check out what help is out there for them to make ends meet at this difficult economic time.”

The Mayor Boris Johnson said: “As the temperature plummets, it is vital that our older citizens claim cash which would help them worry less about the cost of heating their home.

“Many older Londoners are missing out on a range of benefits they have toiled hard over their lives to earn, as are many carers who dedicate their lives to looking after others. Some people think that if they own their home or have savings, that they don’t qualify for any help, but this isn’t always the case.”

Sam Bond

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