Hitting the Cold Spots: Margaret’s Story

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It was during a particularly cold spell in March when Margaret’s boiler broke down, leaving her with no heating or hot water at a crucial time of year. Margaret contacted her local council who put her in touch with us.

We talked through Margaret’s situation with her on the phone and she told us how difficult she was finding it to cope without hot water, having to carry hot kettles up the stairs to wash, and how the cold was exacerbating her health condition. A visit was arranged with a Hitting the Cold Spots advisor.

Our advisor provided Margaret with an electric heater to take the chill out of her home and went through the different options with her. Margaret explained that her main concern was getting a new boiler, but that living on her state pension meant she could not afford to do this herself. Our advisor supported her to complete an application form for a grant, helped her to gather all the evidence she needed to support her application, and arranged for local heating companies to provide quotes for the work.

To her delight, Margaret’s application was successful and the grant body agreed to fund the complete cost of a new boiler. The new boiler was installed, and heating and hot water was restored in Margaret’s home.

Our advisor was also concerned that Margaret had been receiving estimated bills from her energy company which meant that she had been paying them too much every month. A call was made to the energy company and they booked an appointment to install ‘smart meters’ in Margaret’s home. With the smart meters now in place, Margaret can see exactly how much she is spending on her gas and electricity, and no longer has to worry about sending meter readings to her company.

“I am over the moon to get this all sorted after so long without heating and hot water. I don’t know where I would have been otherwise. It was like living back in the 1950’s! I am really grateful to Hitting the Cold Spots for their help.” 

If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, please call the Environment Centre (tEC) on Freephone 0800 804 8601 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) or email staywarm@environmentcentre.com to speak to an advisor.