Brighton and Hove Energy Services scoop national award

23 January 2015

Brighton and Hove Energy Services (BHESCo) are celebrating after their Draughtbusters project has received a national Community Action Award.

The Community Action Awards, which are run by national fuel poverty charity NEA in partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and British Gas, recognise excellence and innovation in the fields of tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency amongst vulnerable households.

BHESCo’s award of £1500 will help them to deliver their Draughtbusters Project in Brighton, which aims to get loft insulation and draught proofing measures installed in every home in the Hanover neighbourhood to improve the energy efficiency of homes located in this area.

Kayla Ente from BHESCo said: “We are delighted to win the Community Action Award for the work we are doing across the Hanover area of Brighton. Loft insulation is the most simple and cost effective insulation measure however it is estimated that one third of lofts remain uninsulated even though free insulation has been available in recent years, we are targeting 3,000 homes to insulate 500 lofts to help residents stay comfortable in their homes for less cost. If you live in the Hanover area and want to be involved in the scheme please call us on 01273 737080.”

Maria Wardrobe, external affairs director at NEA said: “Around 13,000 households in Brighton and Hove are experiencing the impacts of fuel poverty. The work of agencies such as BHESCo is vital to help tackle the issue of fuel poverty and I’m delighted that they have won a Community Action Award. I would like to thank DECC and British Gas for supporting the initiative.”

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “Across the country, people are creating their own local energy-saving projects, helping to tackle fuel poverty and warming more homes for less – and these awards are a testament to that good work.

“We’ve already taken action to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy warmer homes and cheaper bills, with £2.15 billion spent on winter fuel payments this winter alone and installing energy efficiency measures in over one million homes.”

Caroline Lucas MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Group and parliamentary champion of the Energy Bill Revolution campaignsaid: “I’m delighted that BHESCO’s fantastic work is being recognised. Having supported their drop-in energy advice surgeries in my own constituency, I’ve seen first-hand the difference they’re able to make to people. They work incredibly hard to help local families cut fuel costs, save energy and stay warm and well in their homes.”

She added: “Cold homes cost lives, and cost our NHS well over £1 billion a year. Effective energy efficiency measures should be the number one government investment priority, and I continue to fight for that in Parliament.”

Christine Tate, head of corporate responsibility at British Gas said: “We’re pleased to support the very important work of National Energy Action. We know that installing insulation can make a real difference to the look and feel of your home and reduce energy bills. As a leading energy company we think it’s vital to recognise the Community Action Awards and support projects like Draughtbusters that promote energy efficiency.”

Mike Bojczuk, chair of the Older Peoples Council said: “At a time of cuts to many services and increasing costs, BHESCo are doing a great job in providing the elderly and those in fuel poverty with practical help and advice on how to keep their homes warm and minimise energy costs. Giving assistance with energy supply switching and insulation has made a big difference to energy savings in many homes and they truly deserve this accolade.”

The next phase of the Community Action Awards is now open for entries. If you are a community group, charity, or third sector organisation and are running a project helping to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency among vulnerable households please go to http://www.nea.org.uk/campaigns-events/community-action-awardsor contact Nina Dunlavy at NEA nina.dunlavy@nea.org.uk.

Editor’s notes.

1. Further information on the Community Action Award 2014 -16 can be found athttp://www.nea.org.uk/campaigns-events/community-action

2. NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. For further details visit http://www.nea.org.uk

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