More than 200 East Devon residents struggling to pay their energy bills, buy food and other essentials have received financial help thanks to a special fund designed to help those in need this winter.

Residents from Exmouth, Honiton, Axminster, Sidmouth, Seaton, Ottery and a variety of villages have been able to apply for help through the Household Support Fund, being managed by East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) financial resilience team.

The team has now received 252 applications, paying 49 grants to help with energy and water costs, as part of the scheme which runs until 31 March 2022.

Residents who have been helped so far have included renters and homeowners alike, both employed and unemployed.

Anyone needing help to pay their bills, buy food or to afford other essentials such as fixing a broken boiler are being encouraged to get in touch with the authority which is offering grants through the Household Support Fund. 

The fund is part of a £500million Government programme to help people who are struggling this winter.

EDDC is aware residents from all walks of life are facing fuel poverty and the private sector housing and financial resilience teams have been working hard with Exeter Community Energy to offer advice and guidance on how to lower the cost of bills alongside offering grants to those struggling.

Exeter Community Energy can help residents by checking tariffs and identifying other ways that energy bills can be lowered, including home improvements.

EDDC’s private sector housing team can also help support residents getting improvement works completed if they are renting from a private landlord.

Councillor Megan Armstrong, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Homes, said:

This council is dedicated to helping as many residents as it can, and we understand that people from all walks of life have been affected by the pandemic.

The authority’s aim is to help support East Devon residents, by identifying and addressing the root causes of poverty and financial hardship by maximising income, minimising expenditure and working with partners, including those in the voluntary sector to achieve this.