Calor: Future of Rural Energy in Europe
National Energy Action (NEA) Cymru has been working with Calor since 2010 through the FREE (Future of Rural Energy in Europe) Programme. The programme was initially established to assist fuel poor households in off-grid rural communities across the UK. In Wales, the programme was known as the Rural Welsh Energy Advisorship Programme and incorporated a number of different aspects including supporting community advisors in off gas areas; roundtable discussions with national stakeholders; distribution of an advice pack; training; community events and Assembly Member receptions.
2014 – 15
In 2014, NEA Cymru held a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to consider how the findings of the FREE project could be incorporated in the Welsh Government’s Rural Development Plan 2014-20 and used these findings to inform our response to the Welsh Government’s consultation.
A programme of activity for 2014-15 was then agreed between NEA Cymru and Calor. We consulted with One Voice Wales, the umbrella organisation for town and community councils in Wales and developed a project that would support a rural town or community council to address local fuel poverty.
Abergwili community council was chosen and NEA worked to support them to survey residents and to get a steer about what would be the best way that the community council could help residents. NEA analysed the survey results to prepare a recommendation report for councillors for the next steps they could take to help residents.
‘The Energy Advice Pack for Off-Mains Gas Homes’ was originally created by NEA’s technical team in 2010. Unfortunately, fuel poverty levels in rural Wales remain high so the pack has now been updated to ensure the information remains relevant and reflects changes in policy and technology. It will also reach a new audience of advisors, AMs, MPs and councillors working with households without access to mains gas and struggling with their energy bills. It covers practical advice on saving energy and reducing fuel costs. It takes them through the causes and extent of fuel poverty; buying fuel; reducing heat loss in homes; heating and hot water systems for off-gas homes; renewable and new technologies and help with insulation, energy efficiency and paying bills. The revised pack was launched in March 2017.