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Do you make referrals into a local fuel poverty scheme?

If you do, we want to hear from you!!

The Health of the Nation: analysis of cost effectiveness and success factors in health-related fuel poverty schemes

SE2 Ltd and Lewisham Council are carrying out a research project to look at the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of fuel poverty referral schemes across the country. The research is funded by Eaga Charitable Trust.

There is significant evidence about the link between fuel poverty and health. However, there has been little research into the most effective ways to develop and deliver fuel poverty referral schemes.

“The Health of the Nation” research project will explore many aspects of fuel poverty schemes – from their objectives, to how they target support, to the services they provide, to their use of referral networks, to their costs – to try and tease out factors which make schemes more likely to operate successfully and to deliver value for money.

We are interested in hearing from people and organisations who make referrals into local fuel poverty schemes. We invite you to take part in our online survey. You can find the survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WT25D3Q

The survey should take about 30 minutes to complete. We are happy for you to provide information in other formats (eg, reporting spreadsheets) if it is easier for you.

The survey will be open until Friday 11 November 2016.

If you’d like to know more about the research, or submit information in another format, please contact Liz Warren on liz.warren@se-2.co.uk or call 020 8469 1333.

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A better deal for London’s fuel poor?

Ofgem today announced a package of measures designed to bring down fuel bills for people on pre-payment meters and on expensive out-of-date tariffs.

So what’s the deal? (more…)

Fuel poverty is rising: here’s what you can do

National Energy Action and Energy Action Scotland recently published their Fuel Poverty Monitor, a “state of the nations” report on fuel poverty across the UK and in each individual country.

It doesn’t make for cheerful reading. Here’s a quote:

Whilst the timeline illustrates many positive intentions and the introduction of a range of initiatives and new statutory responsibilities, 15 years on, an estimated 4.5 million low-income households across the UK still cannot adequately heat and power their homes. Over the last five years alone there are now over 500,000 more fuel poor households living in cold homes.

(more…)

£26m funding for fuel poverty – better late than never!

thermal-image-cold-home-620pxNational Energy Action recently announced that they will be running a £26.2 million fund for fuel poverty action over the coming three years. This is great news, especially at a time when funding from energy suppliers through ECO has virtually disappeared and as Green Deal (which was not designed for the fuel poor) falters.

So where has the money come from? Well, technically, it should have been spent already. Two energy companies – Drax and Intergen – failed to meet their obligations under the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), a previous energy supplier obligation scheme. So the penalty for failing to deliver on energy efficiency is to pay for energy efficiency – I do like the closure of that, rather than the money just disappearing into the exchequer.

I am curious to know how much it would have cost Drax and Intergen to meet their obligations under CESP and whether the £26.2 million is actually quite punitive…

That said, I’m delighted that NEA have been able to agree that they will manage the fines / money. So far, we know that there will be three elements to their work: a Warm Zones fund (£13 million) which will presumably operate on a similar basis to other area-based schemes (including, ironically, CESP); a Technical Innovation Fund; and a Warm and Healthy Homes Fund.

The Warm and Healthy Homes Fund sounds as though it will be a Warm Homes, Healthy People type programme – bringing together health and social care professionals, public health and the energy efficiency agenda to provide not just energy efficiency but warmth packs, behavioural advice and perhaps tariff advice to residents with health vulnerabilities.

The Technical Innovation Fund sounds interesting too – my hope is that it explores not just product / material innovation (eg, new heating controls, thinner insulation materials) but also process innovation, to help the supply chain and its partners to grapple with some of the logistical challenges that persist in energy efficiency and retrofit. Innovations to help with scheduling, contractor / client communication and minimising disruption would all be welcomed, not just for those in fuel poverty but across the general population.

If you want to find out more about the NEA “Redressing the Balance” funding, you can sign up for email updates by sending your contact details to customer-redress@nea.org.uk.

 

*Image sourced from Greenpeace

Government publishes Fuel Poverty Strategy

FP MapThe Government has published its Fuel Poverty Strategy (at last!). There aren’t too many surprises, compared to the consultation and development documents that were circulated last year. Here are some pointers:

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NEA / DECC Energy on Prescription survey

Here’s some information received from NEA about a survey they are carrying out. We’d encourage all London based organisations to respond to the survey, to make sure that findings and recommendations meet the needs of fuel poor households in the capital.

Are you an organisation helping households that are cold and sick gain access to help on energy? If so, National Energy Action on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is asking you to participate in an ‘energy on prescription’ survey.

DECC is running the survey to learn more about how energy efficiency and other fuel poverty schemes are targeting households with health problems. The survey will be used to develop a catalogue of ‘energy on prescription’ schemes that DECC is happy to share with respondents. You may find it useful in delivering your own scheme. Your participation will also help government work out the best way to support local delivery by organisations like yours in the future.

More information and the survey questionnaire can be found here.

The survey closes on 3 February 2015.

Are we missing an opportunity to transform the private rented sector?

As well as its Fuel Poverty Strategy consultation, DECC recently published a consultation on introducing new energy efficiency regulations to the private rented sector.

We were as delighted as this kitten at tHappyCathe prospect of these regulations. The private rented sector is growing rapidly and has very few effective controls on housing quality or energy efficiency. A set of regulations that would drive change would be very welcome, particularly for the more than 1 million fuel poor households living in the sector.

So what does the consultation say?

The two big headlines:

  • Minimum energy efficiency standards will be in force from April 2018.
  • And tenants will have a right to request energy efficiency improvements which can’t be reasonably refused by their landlord. That comes in from April 2016.

Let’s dig a little deeper: (more…)

Fuel poverty workshop: Helping people to save energy and money at home

The London Fuel Poverty Hub

Fuel poverty workshop: Helping people to save energy and money at home

Wednesday 26th February, 2 – 5 pm

The Annexe, 5 Elthorne Road, Islington N19 4AB

On the 26th February we’re holding a free half day, practical training session to give charities, voluntary organisations and public sector representatives tips and resources to pass on to their residents and service users who are experiencing fuel poverty.

Get the information you need to help your clients with:

–      Tariffs, switching and dealing with fuel debt

–      Practical tips for saving energy in the home. There will also be demonstrations of basic draught-proofing/ damp-proofing measures and basic energy efficiency gadgets

–      Accessing government funding schemes as ECO and the Warm Homes Discount

If you’d like to attend, or for more information please email hannah@se-2.co.uk or call 020 8912 0444. You can download a flier for the event here – please spread the word to friends and colleagues!

Understanding the impact of living in a cold home: free fuel poverty training in Hammersmith and Fulham

This winter, more and more Hammersmith and Fulham residents will find it hard to keep warm at home, and Hammersmith and Fulham Council are inviting local voluntary and community organisations to attend a free training workshop to discuss the problems associated with living in cold homes.

The workshop will explore:

–          The health and wellbeing impacts of living in a cold home
–          How cold homes link to other social and health priorities
–          How to identify who is at risk from the cold
–          Advice you can give to help people keep warm and well
–          Free support available within the Borough including grants and advice

Workshops will be held on:

Thursday 23rd January, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Wednesday 29th January 10.00am – 12.00pm

at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London W6 9JU

You can register to attend one of the workshop sessions by emailing hannah@se-2.co.uk or calling 020 8469 1333.

Healthy Homes – Helping residents of Kensington and Chelsea with rising energy costs this winter

As we have seen in the press in recent weeks, an increasing number of people are struggling with their fuel bills, and many are having to make a difficult choice between heating their homes or going without other living essentials. As winter draws in and it begins to get colder, it’s especially important to think about the impact cold homes and high bills can have on your service users’ health and quality of life.

 Call the Healthy Homes Helpline now on 0808 202 6204

The Healthy Homes scheme offers support to those residents who are struggling to heat their homes. Every call is followed up with a tailored package of advice and support: alongside information and advice on keeping warm and well, in the past the scheme has helped residents access free heating and insulation measures, provided help to those looking to switch to a cheaper tariff or energy supplier and run benefit checks that have helped some households increase their incomes by over £1000 a year.

 

Why not come along to the next Healthy Homes training session to find out more about what’s on offer this year?

Healthy Homes training sessions are free to attend. You can get up-to-date information about fuel poverty, with advice on how to spot the signs and to assist your service users to access the help they need. Details of the next session can be found below:

WHEN: Tuesday 3 December, 4.30 – 6.30pm

WHERE: Age UK Kensington and Chelsea, 1 Thorpe Close, London, W10 5XL

 

You can book your place at the training by calling Hannah on 0208 912 0444 or by emailing healthyhomes@se-2.co.uk