National Energy Action (NEA)

A.F.F.O.R.D

A.F.F.O.R.D: Assisting Fuel-Poor Families on Reducing Debt The aim of the ‘AFFORD’ project will be to work closely with ‘Advice Link’ teams throughout England, to assist them to gain knowledge on how to combat fuel poverty and energy efficiency and to pass this knowledge onto the people they advise.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (290511)

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    Category

  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Homeless/RefugeHomeless/Refuge
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief

    Helping

  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther

Location

Situation

NEA has vast experience in working with fuel-poor families and providing them with the right type of advice. However, the same cannot be said for the many generic ‘advice’ providers that most people approach when experiencing problems with their finances. Most advisors do not have the explicit specialised knowledge of fuel debt, when providing advice to families in fuel poverty. It is NEA’s intention to assist ‘Advice Link’ teams by providing support and advice on fuel poverty and energy efficiency issues and to help in actively targeting families with young children, who are in fuel poverty. The project will also seek to identify and work with local Landlords in the private rented sector. In many instances, Landlords take out gas to reduce maintenance costs and install electric heaters with vastly increased heating costs. They also install key meters to ensure that tenants pay for their energy as they use it. It also means that the tenant does not vacate the property leaving a large energy bill behind them, which would fall to the Landlord to pay. Activities of the project will include: Work with the Advice Link team to identify and engage with families, with young children, who are in, or experiencing, fuel poverty; to hold surgeries with the Advice Link team, which will provide advice for families, who are having difficulty in paying their energy bills or want to know how to cut their energy consumption and be more efficient in their energy usage; to advise families on benefits maximisation and signpost to energy efficiency grants and initiatives; to provide City & Guilds 6176 training, for Advice Link staff, in Energy Awareness; to identify and provide half-day training sessions for local Landlords, to create local ‘Energy Champions’; and to provide support and advice for the Energy Champions. The propsed outcomes of this project are: fewer families and young children affected by the negative impact of fuel poverty; families have more disposable income by spending less on their energy needs; families and young children have improved health and well-being due to being able to heat their homes adequately; landlords in the private rented sector provide better services and advice for their tenants; Council and local Advice Link Network staff and volunteers have a better understanding of fuel debt/poverty and associated issues and can therefore provide a better more comprehensive holistic service; and efficient use of energy by local families with young children will assist in reducing their carbon footprint and assist the Council in reducing their overall carbon emissions. Funding of £30,310 + VAT is requested to support this project over a 12 month period in which time NEA will work with Advice Link teams to target families with young children who are in or experiencing fuel poverty. It will also provide training for council staff and local Landlords. The funding will also cover all costs for training, events and venues. The area for delivery of the project is dependent on the funder and with guidance from the Local Authorities. NEA can negotiate this once funding is agreed.

Solution