Householders in receipt of the National Fuel Allowance Scheme, living in privately owned homes which have been built before 2002 are now being encouraged to improve the efficiency of their homes through the Warmer Homes Scheme.
The Leitrim Warmer Homes project is a Community Services Programme, run by the Leitrim Development Company aimed at improving the living conditions of elderly people and people with disabilities living in Co Leitrim.
Figures show that 417 people die in Ireland every year as a direct result of the condition of their home. Winter months are also known to see a rise in deaths, especially among the older population as plummeting temperatures lead to a greater incidence of cardiovascular mortality and respiratory disease.
In the Republic of Ireland 81.1% of older people occupy homes built before 1980, many of which have not been retrofitted with additional insulation or other heat saving measures.
In fact, in the Census findings from 2006, 17% of older people living in rural areas were found to have no central heating and over 45% of older households reported no wall insulation.
Draughts, a lack of insulation, the energy efficiency of heating systems and the size of a home are all factors which can affect the heat retention of a home.
The Warmer Homes Scheme involves identifying those homes which are inefficient, surveying them and installing attic insulation, draught proofing, hot water cylinder jackets and low energy lamps, as required. Under the scheme recipients can also get cavity wall insulation and the Warmer Homes Scheme also provides energy advice for the owner while collected data regarding the energy efficiency of dwellings for future use.
The scheme is only open to householders in receipt of the National Fuel Allowance Scheme, living in privately owned homes which have been built before 2002.
Local authority homes are not included under the scheme as they are addressed by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government directly.
To apply just call 071 9640771 and your name will be added to the waiting list.
Leitrim Warmer Homes is funded by Pobal under the Community Services Programme and SEAI. The project employs a Manager and 3 trained full time insulation installers, two Part-time administrators. Two members of the Rural Social Scheme also work on the project.