North Warwickshire and Nuneaton & Bedworth borough councils: Positive Energy Solutions
The councils have worked with partners to deliver the ‘Positive Energy Solutions’ project, designed to support those who are struggling with their energy bills. This initiative provides them with money saving solutions. This is provided alongside advice and support from any of the organisations associated with the Northern Warwickshire Financial Inclusion Partnership. This partnership is convened by the two borough councils.
This project is funded by the Household Support Fund via Warwickshire County Council and delivered by the Financial Inclusion Partnership. Solutions are based on a variety of simple energy saving measures that can be installed by the householder, provided as a combined ‘pack of solutions’ or as individual items, as needed. The solutions include radiator reflector foil, draught proofing, LED lightbulbs, chimney balloons, slow cookers, and heated thermal throws. To run alongside these measures, the council also provides the household with:
- Instructions for installing the measure – video and instruction card.
- Additional energy saving tips information which consists of ‘behavioural changes’ that the whole household could adopt.
The partnership looks to assist those in ‘emergency’ situations who may need a quick fix solution, purchasing a number of heated throws for older people, slow cookers for families (a more energy efficient cooking option) and chimney balloons for those in more rural areas, to help keep their energy costs down.
Referrals are generated from the partner organisations and council teams, where they are engaged with the household and providing advice, information, and support – this would be a pre-requisite of being able to receive any of the solutions. The referral organisations are:
- Family Information Service – Warwickshire County Council
- Citizens Advice
- Warwickshire Welfare Rights Advice Service (a Covid support project)
- Act on Energy
- The borough councils’ Financial Inclusion Support and Housing teams
Households could benefit from saving at least £180 per year on the energy bills. This could be more if households take the energy savings tips advice that will be provided, and consider and introduce, some of their own behavioural changes. The project has already helped households save energy, reduce energy bills, to keep warm and be able to cook.
The partnership has currently provided:
- 200 energy saving packs delivered via FISO, CA’s and FIS
- 20 thermal Throws
- 8 slow cookers
In financial terms this could be a cumulative saving to households currently of £36,000 on energy bills and potentially even greater if the tips provided are followed. ‘Warm Home Hacks’ behaviour changes, would see a further £73,800 saved (£369 per household).
The partnership continues to provide these measures each day as the packs are delivered.
This is a sustainable project, leaving a legacy for the household, with energy saving solutions that will continue to save them money on their energy bills moving forward. This will help alleviate some of the financial pressures on households at a time when budgets are being squeezed in relation to the cost-of-living increases.