THOUSANDS of homes with low energy efficiency ratings are likely to struggle with energy bills this winter.

Across Wigan & Leigh, sixty percent of houses had an energy efficiency ranking of 'D' or below as of March 2021, which are the latest figures released from the Office of National Statistics.

Additional figures from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy estimate that around twenty thousand households were in fuel poverty in Wigan and Leigh in 2020.

With the cost of living crisis set to worsen this winter, those living in low-energy efficient homes are likely to be disproportionately impacted by the rising cost of fuel.

Leigh Journal: Wigan Council have confirmed extra support for residentsWigan Council have confirmed extra support for residents (Image: LDRS)

To ensure residents are protected against rising bills, Wigan Council has now embedded energy efficiency into their housing standards practice for homeowners and landlords.

Launching their 'Here For You' campaign at the end of the month, the council will also be providing extra financial support and highlighting what residents are entitled to.

Through the government's ECO4 scheme, those with low energy efficiency ratings may be entitled to free home insulations to keep their house warm and bills down this winter.

Financial support will also be offered to eligible residents through a Council Tax Reduction scheme, Pension Credits and the Household Support Fund.

A further round of funding dedicated towards helping households with high energy and food bills will also run from next month.

Jo Mitchell, assistant director in customer experience and support at Wigan Council, said: “Our 'Here For You' campaign is about helping our residents access all the different methods of support available to them in the coming months.

“We ask anybody who is finding it difficult at the moment to please reach out to us by calling, emailing or visiting Wigan Life Centre or any of our libraries. With help from our partners, community groups and volunteers, we will do our very best to provide assistance.

“As a council, we are also working to promote and support energy efficiency by actively engaging with landlords and tenants and offering advice about measures that can be taken to improve the efficiency of heating a property – including signposting them to any grants that may be available to them.

“We’re pleased to have had a generally positive response from landlords, although we also reserve the right to take a more robust approach to those who are less co-operative – including, if necessary, taking legal action under energy efficiency regulations in the best interests of tenants.”

To find out if you are eligible for any financial support, visit this link.