'Warm hubs' proposed for Swansea as people struggle to pay their heating bills
'Warm hubs' have been proposed to help people struggling to pay their heating bills.
Community buildings and church halls in Swansea could be used to keep people warm if they cannot afford to heat their homes.
Councillors, church leaders and other organisations are expected to meet and discuss the proposals.
It comes as Ofgem announced an energy price cap increase to £3,549 per year for dual fuel for an average household from 1 October 2022.
Planning is still in its early stages, but those behind the idea for the scheme in the Cwmbwrla ward of the city say it is hoped that some relief can be offered during the winter months, especially for the elderly and unwell.
Councillor Peter Black said: "We are in the very early initial stages of discussing how we can help the old and vulnerable through a potentially difficult winter where many will not be able to afford to heat their homes.
"Councillors, local church leaders and other community organisations are meeting to discuss the idea of setting up warm hubs utilising existing community buildings whereby people can gather to keep warm and enjoy each other's company.
"At this stage we need to identify suitable buildings and what funding may be needed to support the idea as well as potential sources of finance. We may also need to identify volunteers to help manage the hubs."
Cllr Chris Holley added: "I think this is going to be a massive issue. I don't think people realise just how big of an issue it's going to become in a very short period of time. Come October we're going to start to see problems.
"Do you heat the person or the premises? If you are warm and you come into a cold room that's not going to help you too much. There's got to be a solution found but I don't think there's an easy solution. This community warmth idea is one we are exploring."
Councils in England are also considering the use of churches, community centres and libraries as so-called 'warm banks' for people who cannot afford to heat their homes.
The UK Government has said it will continue to "make sure that people have got the resources to heat their own home".