Help When You Need It Most – Mr H’s Replacement Boiler
The Trust administers a boiler replacement fund which enables vulnerable customers to get condemned boilers replaced so their homes can be properly heated. We use our network of funded organisations to identify households in fuel poverty who could benefit from this scheme.
Mr H was identified by Community Law Service in Northampton.
Mr H is a single 67-year-old, retired gentleman with long term mental health and severe circulation issues affecting his mobility. His income is made up of a State Pension, two small private pensions plus Personal Independent Payment. He has no savings.
His house is an older property, owned outright, with solid walls and single glazing. He missed out the Green Grant fund to improve these. He does have loft insulation and normally a full central heating system.
When his boiler stopped working, he contacted a local heating company who advised him that it was condemned. A replacement would be at least £2000 plus.
Not having the funds, and worrying what to do he contacted Community Law Service.
He was directed to the Financial Health and Wellbeing Project funded by the Trust, where he spoke to an advisor. A full benefit, debt and energy assessment was made, and then it was confirmed that we could apply to the Trust for a replacement boiler.
The advisor contacted the TrustMark certified local company, who agreed to visit the client and provide a quote. Within a couple of days, the quote was provided to us via email. The advisor then contacted the client and completed the Trust portal application, including the financial statement.
Within three working days we received a call from the Trust to confirm that the boiler application was approved, so we could go ahead and arrange the installation. We instructed the company that day.
The boiler was installed and working within 15 days of the application being made to the Trust.
Mr H could not believe the ease and speed. He found the whole process from speaking to the advisor to having the boiler fitted unbelievable. He thought he would be without heating and hot water for months, given his past experience.
When his boiler had needed to be replaced in the past, he had applied for help under another fund, but it took them from October until January before one was fitted for him. This left him mainly living in one room, dependent on one portable electric heater, thick clothes, blankets and a hot water bottle to keep warm plus boiling a kettle for any hot water.
“It was not living it was just surviving each day. Due to my mobility issues, I could not move to keep warm, my physical and mental health both deteriorated. The new boiler means I do not need to fear the winter and know that my house is now habitable.
I cannot thank British Gas Energy Trust, Community Law Service and Plumb-line enough, they all worked so quickly to help me. Plumb- line has said that I can call them anytime if I need help with the heating controls, and they even made me coffees during the boiler fitting
It’s so good to know that there is help when you need it the most.”
If you need help with heating, energy bills or financial hardship contact your local money and advice charity for free, impartial help.