Welsh Government and Warm Wales have joined forces on a pilot partnership project that aims to tackle the serious problem of fuel poverty in Wales. Twelve partners are involved in the new Home Energy Advice Pilot, which will launch first in Caerphilly, Ceredigion and Gwynedd. Partners in the project include Citizens Advice, housing associations, and local councils.
There are an estimated 155,000 homes in Wales that continue to struggle to afford a safe and comfortable home environment, and this is likely to have increased during the ongoing pandemic. Supporting people out of fuel poverty helps them live greener, healthier, and more prosperous lives.
The purpose of the pilot is to test and measure the effectiveness of providing in-home advice and support services to people across Wales, in relation to tackling fuel poverty. This phased pilot will test the impact of providing support on the cost of energy used and the changes to household income that results from providing a one-to-one advice service.
The evidence gathered from the pilot will help determine the benefit which can be gained from supporting vulnerable households, and those disengaged from the energy market, to implement changes designed to reduce their energy use and save money.
Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs commented.
We are delighted to be working with Warm Wales and its partners to deliver the Energy Advice Pilot. The learning gathered from the pilot will be invaluable and help shape our future provision of domestic energy advice services across WalesLesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
Joanna Seymour from Warm Wales talked about her hopes for the pilot.
This is an exciting opportunity to really be able to demonstrate the difference this type of support can have and especially now when we need to providing a more holistic approach to energy advice and supportJoanna Seymour, Warm Wales
The project partners will be supporting households in numerous ways:
- Advice and support to those in, or at risk of, fuel poverty enabling them to reduce energy consumption whilst heating their home effectively.
- Helping households to switch their energy tariff or supplier to save money.
- Enabling households to improve income maximisation by ensuring all benefit entitlements are secured and energy company grants/concessions claimed.
- Helping households switch to digital metering and utilise smarter technologies.
- Reducing the number of homes using domestic prepayment meters and securing them on a lower cost tariff.
- Referrals for funding to install home energy efficiency measures to help reduce energy consumption thereby reducing the cost of energy supplied.
- The provision of in-depth advice and support on managing fuel debt.
The twelve pilot partners, along with technology provider Elemental, are committed to showing, not only the monetary savings available to householders, but also the improvements in health and personal wellbeing which can be achieved.
The pilot will follow the journey that each resident takes, giving a real understanding of the changes delivered and the full impact of the support offered. Success in the pilot project will provide a foundation to roll the project out across Wales.
Serretta Bebb, the CEO of Ceredigion Citizens Advice remarked.
we are delighted to be working with colleagues from a wide range of organisations to test the impact of energy and income max advice on fuel poverty – especially as cold and off-gas homes is an issue that affects so many people in rural CeredigionSerretta Bebb, CEO of Ceredigion Citizens Advice
Meilyr Tomos from Y Dref Werdd explained why they have joined the pilot.
We’ve been assisting the people of Bro Ffestiniog with issues related to fuel poverty since 2006, and we’ve witnessed first-hand the improvements in people’s lives that come from tackling these issues. It’s not just about saving money – it’s about helping each other and strengthening our communities.Meilyr Tomos, Y Dref Werdd
United Welsh are one of the partners supporting the project in Caerphilly, Julian Pike, Director of Housing & Communities, explains why they were keen to be involved in the fuel poverty pilot.
United Welsh is excited to have the opportunity of contributing to this project, as we are keen to learn the lessons from it, to incorporate into our broader approaches towards tackling fuel poverty and climate change.Julian Pike, Director of Housing & Communities, United Welsh