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CCB is delivering two outreach projects bringing advice and guidance on reducing energy costs to families and  front-line workers in Berkshire. Helen Dean is the Project Co-ordinator for this work and can be contacted on 07894 099386 or at helen.dean@ccberks.org.uk.

 

Big Energy Saving Network

CCB has project funding from the Big Energy Saving Network (run by the government department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action). This is to provide home energy advice to 100 individuals through either a talk or 1:1 consultations or a combination of both, and train 40 front-line workers. CCB is targetting their home energy advice work to low income families, and vulnerable families. Helen is also training professionals and volunteers who support low income and vulnerable families, such as Health Visitors and Foodbank volunteers.

 

The CCB Family Energy Education and Advice project

This outreach project is funded by Berkshire Community Foundation, providing 6 drop-in advice sessions to families in Berkshire on reducing their home energy costs. Sessions will be run in Slough, Bracknell, Wokingham and West Berkshire. Helen is using this funding to create new partnerships with organisations who support vulnerable and low income families, and vulnerable individuals with health related needs or age related needs, for example Homestart West Berkshire, and the Carer's Project in Slough. This valuable advice will enable vulnerable families, and individuals, to reduce their home energy costs by getting the best deal on their gas, electricity or oil and switching supplier where appropriate. Guidance will also be given to those on a low income to claim the benefits they are entitled to, and get the help with insulation and boiler repairs/replacement. Helen will also run through top tips on reducing energy use at home.

 

Helen has received very positive feedback on the evaluation of her project work; advising families, and giving talks to frontline workers on how they can signpost/advise their families to reduce their home energy costs. These include:

•A comment from a mum at the session on the evaluation form after a 1:1 consultation; "Very useful and reminded me that it's really worth looking into switching providers".

•Feedback from a student after a talk to an English lesson for families in Slough; "Helen Dean gave a very good presentation about energy saving. It was really useful for us. She explained everything in details. Now I am glad to know new tips about energy saving, Thanks a lot."

•At the Health Visitor staff training on held at a staff meeting in Slough; “Excellent advice, very useful for staff awareness” Sarah Parsons, Head of Slough Children’s Services.

 

Links to websites with useful information on reducing home energy costs

 

Comparing costs and switching supplier

For information on how to save money by switching energy supplier, visit: www.goenergyshopping.co.uk and click How To Shop.

 

For additional advice for comparing costs for those people using pre-pay meters see:

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/switch-prepaid-gas-electricity

 

Warm Home Discount Scheme

This Warm Home Discount Scheme can provide a rebate off your electricity bill. People on low incomes, including families, pensioners, as well as people with long term illness or disabilities, may qualify for a rebate of £140 from their energy supplier, which is paid in the spring.

For families on low incomes, criteria vary from supplier to supplier, so check with them to see if you qualify. Please note that some suppliers offer the discount to low income families with children over 5 who are in full time education, whilst others extend it to below 8 years, or in full time education, or on free school meals.

 

For information about the 2016/2017 Warm Home discount scheme, please click here. *Please note that suppliers will close their applications once they have reached their quota, so if you think you may be entitled, it is important that you contact your electricity supplier as soon as possible.*

A helpline has been set up to answer queries from pensioners - 0345 603 9439. It is open from Monday - Friday, 8.30 am - 4.30pm.

 

Reducing energy usage at home

Please see the You Tube video on the right hand side of this webpage. For further tips please visit: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic

 

Insulation and help with boiler repairs/replacement

For help with insulation and boiler repairs/replacement for those on low incomes, please visit; https://www.gov.uk/energy-company-obligation, or telephone the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234. 

 

For helpful advice on energy efficiency and home insulation please visit: http://www.buildingmaterials.co.uk/resources/home-insulation-guide/

 

If you don't qualify for financial help and want to find a contractor to fit insulation for you, try the National Insulation Association. Their website is: http://www.nia-uk.org/householder/

 

Oil Clubs

Do you use heating oil to heat your home? If so, you may be able to save money by buying through an oil club. There are many clubs in existence and the Citizens Advice website can help you find one. Click here to find an oil club on the Citizens Advice website.

 

CCB runs a berkshire-wide oil club. For more information about the club, visit the CCB Oil Club page: www.ccb-oil-club.org.uk.  

 

Struggling to pay your energy bills?

If you are struggling to pay your energy bill  the Citizens Advice website can help.

Visit https://citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/advice to find your local bureau.  Your local Citizens Advice Bureau will also be able to help with debt advice.

 

Grants for energy efficiency

To find grants and ways to improve your energy efficiency visit: //www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator/

 

Further energy efficiency advice

For advice and information on saving energy at home, visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy's website at: http://www.cse.org.uk/advice/advice-and-support

 

Energy advice factsheets published by the Centre for Sustainable Energy give information on many aspects of home energy use. These downloadable factsheets can be found at:

http://www.cse.org.uk/resources/energy-advice-leaflets

 

Home improvements can help you to save on energy costs. To find out more, do the Home Energy Check on the Energy Saving Trust website: http://hec.est.org.uk.

 

 

 

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