The Community Action Partnership provides a range of practical and strategic support to local authorities and their partners to progress affordable warmth activity across the county. In line with developing existing initiatives, its key objectives are to support activity to reduce fuel costs for all but specifically the fuel poor, increase awareness of energy efficiency measures, increase awareness of available support and British Gas social programmes and increase the capacity to provide advice.
During 2014-15, the Community Action Partnership worked with Northamptonshire County Council and its partners to develop a comprehensive Affordable Warmth Action Plan as part of the county-wide Community Energy Strategy which is currently being developed by the County Council.
As part of the process of developing the Affordable Warmth Action Plan, a Stakeholder Consultation Event was held which provided local community organisations the opportunity to help to shape the Action Plan and to contribute to the development of a strong partnership of local organisations which are committed to working together to eradicate fuel poverty across the county.
The Affordable Warmth Action Plan outlines a range of activities to be delivered by partners to improve access to affordable warmth for all householders across Northamptonshire. The delivery of the activities outlined in the Northamptonshire Affordable Warmth Action Plan is being supported by the Community Action Partnership throughout 2015-16.
Current activities include;
- Mapping existing affordable warmth related services throughout the county and making this information readily available for local organisations.
- Providing short energy awareness training sessions for frontline staff from all sectors who have day to day contact with vulnerable householders.
- Training networks of community energy champions to reach harder to reach individuals and offer support
- Delivering energy awareness sessions at local community events
How do I get involved?
For further information about the Community Action Partnership or to get involved, please contact Nicky Swetnam.
Energy champions recruited in Northamptonshire
100 ‘energy champions’ are being recruited in in Northampton, Corby, Kettering and Daventry to help 20,000 people in their community become more energy efficient and to reduce the cost of their energy bills.
The free sessions have already attracted a number of energy champions who have learnt how they can take simple steps to save money on their energy bills, such as making their homes more energy efficient, dealing with fuel debt problems and understanding how to switch suppliers. Once qualified, the new energy champions are encouraged to pass on their new knowledge to help other residents also save money on their fuel bills and stay warm in their homes.
Northamptonshire firefighters given tips on spotting fuel poverty during home visits
Energy expert Jimmy Pugh has been touring Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service’s wholetime stations to give crews more information on how they can help people who find themselves in fuel poverty.
The crews were talked through a series of ‘trigger questions’ they can ask people during home fire safety checks, to help identify whether they are having trouble with their energy bills, whether they have changed energy supplier recently and whether they have adequate insulation or heat systems.
Jimmy, who is a project development co-ordinator at NEA, said: “If someone suffers from fuel poverty, they are more likely to suffer from health problems and be admitted to hospital. We are working with such organisations as the fire service and health service – professionals who get across the doorsteps of these people – so they have the information they need.”
Group manager Warren Ellison said: “When we identify risks such as portable gas appliances and candles, we are also able to look at factors that may indicate fuel poverty and signpost to help.”Published on 26-01-2016