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The Warm & Well project offered energy efficiency advice to householders and support the installation of energy saving measures to reduce fuel poverty.
This project was a partnership between Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA), Caring for Communities and People (CCP) and the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Gloucestershire. It aimed to support clients in poor health who were suffering from fuel poverty through the availability of a new energy advocate and improved referral mechanisms between the organisations.
During 2020, they had to adapt its advice and support structure due to COVID-19, with more in-depth telephone conversations, online videos and blogs being provided in place of home visits. The energy advocate assisted clients with fuel debt, general energy saving advice and acting as a liaison to sort out issues with energy suppliers.
To increase the reach of the project during the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy advocate presented top energy saving tips to various online groups, developed links with new organisations in Gloucestershire and directly promoted the Warm and Well service to members of the public.
They have also prepared critical energy saving advice to prevent further fuel poverty due to complex issues, especially for people who do not speak English as their first language or do not understand the terminology of energy tarriffs.
The project engaged 1971 households and secured £37,604 in financial savings for clients through the in-depth support (debt write-off, tariff switch, discounts and trust funds). A further estimated £9926 was saved through general energy advice.
Improved information sharing between the partners allowed a more efficient and bespoke support service to clients and enabled more cross referrals between the services.
Over 1000 community workers, volunteers, health professionals and members of the community were engaged during project to help promote energy saving messages. These links have increased awareness and use of SWEA’s other Warm and Well services.