Coventry fuel poverty alleviation project HEAT (Home Energy Advice Team) marked 20 years since its establishment by charity National Energy Action (NEA). The project has been supporting low-income households in Coventry since 2001.
The milestone was celebrated at the St Peter’s Centre on Thursday 28th October, and was attended by Zarah Sultana MP, key stakeholders and clients who have previously been supported by NEA’s expert team.
HEAT provides expert energy advice to make sure that people are using their heating systems correctly and offers energy efficiency advice to ensure that heat is not lost from a home, through community advice and one-to-one sessions.
The project is still much needed, as 18.8% of households in Coventry are living in fuel poverty. Now, with winter rapidly approaching, many Coventry residents will be increasingly concerned about the skyrocketing cost of heating their homes as the temperatures begin to drop. This winter, many low-income householders will face challenges between heating their home to a safe temperature and being able to eat.
The project’s staff have always had extremely strong links with other advice services in the area, offering a holistic approach to those who may be struggling in debt and/or on a low income. The team has frequently been recognised for the work – most recently last month when they received the Energy Efficiency Award for Regional (West Midlands) Vulnerable Customer Support Campaigner of the Year.
Peter Sumby, Director of Operations at NEA, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the tireless work of the HEAT team over the last 20 years. They have provided invaluable support to those most in need in Coventry. The pandemic has meant our teams have had to adapt their ways of working but they did so incredibly quickly to ensure that our clients remained our number one priority. If anybody in Coventry is struggling with their energy bills or has fallen into energy debt, please get in contact with the team to see if they can help.”
Heather Watts, Government Obligations Business Development Manager at ScottishPower, said: “National Energy Action have been a trusted Warm Home Discount partner of ScottishPower’s for over 10 years. ScottishPower funding has enabled the Coventry HEAT team to continue to provide free vital help, support and advice to help keep Coventry and North Warwickshire vulnerable homes warm and healthy. Our funding is supporting the most vulnerable households such as the elderly, families with young children, the disabled and refugee and asylum seekers to address fuel poverty and fuel debt and also works in partnership with other agencies in order to ensure the service can make the most impact. The service also takes referrals from statutory services including Social Care and Home Care where robust thresholds are already in place in terms of vulnerability.
We continually see very real benefits for the vulnerable households that are helped by each element of the scheme, helping to deliver solutions to often multiple problems faced by individuals and we look forward to continuing the partnership this coming winter and beyond”.
If you are concerned about the cost of your heating, you can contact the HEAT project by calling 0800 304 7159