Practical guide launched to help Cardiff residents keep warm this winter

A new resource guide which provides practical help for residents in Cardiff to better understand their energy bills and help those who have fallen into arrears with gas and electricity payments is being launched today.

The Fuel Poverty Action Guide has been produced by the charity National Energy Action Cymru, which campaigns to ensure everyone in Wales can afford to keep their house warm, in collaboration with British Gas and a wide range of organisations from Cardiff’s Affordable Warmth Steering Group.

The Guide forms part of a range of initiatives taking place across Cardiff to tackle fuel poverty in the City.  The Guide can be used by anyone and has been written in plain English to offer a range of information on how people can make their homes more energy efficient, deal with fuel debt and switch energy suppliers.  The publication is available as an online resource and in addition over 500 copies are being distributed across the City and will be available in libraries, public buildings and advice centres etc.

An accompanying factsheet is also being published to give stakeholder organisations up to date statistics about fuel debt and excess winter deaths in the area to help them better demonstrate the evidence when applying for funding streams.

The most recent figures released reveal that the average levels of consumer electricity and gas debt increased in Wales in 2014 compared to the previous year with over 120,000 electric and gas accounts in debt.  Coupled with an increase in the number of electricity and gas accounts paying for their energy via pre-payment meters in 2014, which are often installed as a means of repaying debt,  it is vital that people struggling to afford their energy bills receive the right support.

Carole Morgan-Jones, Director of NEA Cymru said: “The aim of the Guide is to provide comprehensive and very practical information about what help is available and who to turn to for assistance to keep your home warm this winter.  People often feel very isolated when they fall into difficulties with their household bills. Many are unsure how they can improve their situation and are unaware of the support available. I want to thank all those involved for their help in putting this Guide together.”

Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability at City of Cardiff Council, Cllr Ramesh Patel said: “I will certainly be using the Guide to help residents in my constituency who are feeling the effects of fuel poverty.   I am pleased that our collective switching scheme Cyd Cymru – Wales Together is being promoted in the Guide as one way that energy costs can be made more affordable.  I would encourage residents to register for the scheme and see what they could save.”

To find out more about the Cardiff Community Action Partnership and to download the Fuel Poverty Action Guide please visit: http://www.nea.org.uk/nea-cymru/publications/

ENDS

For all enquiries, please contact Carole.Morgan-Jones@nea.org.uk  Tel 029 2022 9322 / 07720591403

 Notes to Editors:

  • The Community Action Partnership is a national programme delivered by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) and British Gas, in partnership with councils across the UK. It will help bring affordable energy and improve the lives and prosperity of residents through practical activities in eight localities across England and Wales, equipping the local community with the tools they need to deal with fuel poverty in the future
  • NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth. For further details visit nea.org.uk
  • Fuel poverty results from a combination of factors: low household income; energy prices; and inadequate heating and insulation standards. The consequences of fuel poverty range from psychological distress, social isolation and physical discomfort to illness and, in the most extreme cases, premature death
  • In Wales, fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort. Almost 1 in 3 (30%) of households in Wales were living in fuel poverty in 2012, equating to 386,000 homes. 328,000 of these are believed to be vulnerable households (containing a child, older person, or someone who is disabled or has a long-term illness). http://wales.gov.uk/docs/caecd/research/130430-wales-fuel-poverty-projection-tool-2011-12-report-en.pdf
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