Oldham switch on to energy advice thanks to free workshop
14 August 2015
A number of Oldham residents are now more energy savvy after receiving training on how to keep warm in their homes and save money on their fuel bills.
During the free workshop, residents from First Choice Oldham’s (FCHOs) Barker Street estate were given advice on how to be more energy efficient and the effects of a cold home on people’s health.
This included how to use heating systems, switching suppliers, and understanding energy bills. Residents also learned more about how to make their homes energy efficient, and what to do if they are struggling to heat their homes affordably.
It is hoped residents will share their new-found knowledge with others in their community to spread the eco-advice. The session was delivered as part of the £1.2m Community Action Partnership, a joint programme by fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action and British Gas.
FCHO resident, Victoria Osilewe, said: “I didn’t understand much about energy before, and now know more. I’ve changed the times on my heating timer and can see how much electricity I use with the display monitor. It was really useful. I’m looking forward to sharing the advice I’ve received.”
Warmer and energy efficient homes
The workshop supports a wider programme to create warmer and more energy efficient homes across Oldham.
The BGreen initiative, run by FCHO, Oldham Council, British Gas, Forrest and Savills, has already seen 600 homes fitted with external wall insulation, which reduces the amount of heat escaping through walls, keeping homes warmer for longer. A new biomass district central heating scheme, which is a greener and more efficient way to heat homes, is also benefiting over 1,400 homes.
Dave Woods, director of homes and investment at First Choice Homes Oldham, commented: “The energy efficiency improvements across the BGreen area including external wall insulation have been completed and it is important that our customers now understand how to heat their homes in the most efficient and affordable way. By providing energy awareness sessions, we can help residents reduce their energy bills and stay warm and healthy in their homes.”
Maria Wardrobe, director of external affairs at National Energy Action, said: “We’re dedicated to tackling fuel poverty, an issue that affects one in ten households in Oldham. Key to this is improving knowledge and understanding of energy use, and we’re delighted that we have been able to work with FCHO and British Gas to provide this training for residents. In time, we hope that they will pass their newly-found knowledge on to friends and neighbours, ensuring healthier, happier communities.”
Christine Tate, head of corporate responsibility at British Gas, added: “We’re working with the NEA to help communities take control of the amount of energy they use so they can become more energy efficient and reduce the cost of their bills.”
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- National Energy Action (NEA) is the national charity which aims to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help those who are poor and vulnerable.
- The Community Action Partnership will run from 2014-2016 in eight areas of England and Wales. The areas are: Cardiff; Enfield; Barking and Dagenham; Northampton; Walsall; Liverpool; North East England (Warm up North) and Manchester (AGMA). Further information on the Community Action Partnership and Community Action Award Scheme can be found at http://www.nea.org.uk/see-us-in-action/community-action-partnership
- The training took place at FCHO’s Central Office, Union Street, Oldham in July 2015.
- FCHO is one of the largest and most successful providers of high quality housing in Oldham. FCHO manages in excess of 12,000 properties and is a not-for-profit organisation with its tenants as its first priority, improving homes and communities, to make them places where people want to live.Visitwww.fcho.co.uk to find out more.
- The BGreen project is a partnership between FCHO, Oldham Council, British Gas, Forrest and Savills, to deliver energy efficiency improvements for approximately 2,400 residents in Oldham.