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Rural Energy Champions Project Awareness Session. Introductions. Overview of the Project. X is a new community initiative We are recruiting energy champions from different sectors to promote key energy saving and energy efficiency messages to fuel poor off-gas rural households

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Presentation Transcript
overview of the project
Overview of the Project
  • X is a new community initiative
  • We are recruiting energy champions from different sectors to promote key energy saving and energy efficiency messages to fuel poor off-gas rural households
  • Households benefitting from assistance will be signposted to sources of specialist energy advice, available grant aid and other services by champions
  • All champions benefit from support to help them to promote key messages to households.
session objectives
Session Objectives

By the end of the session we want you to understand:

  • the purpose of the project, your role and how it will operate
  • What fuel poverty is and its causes
  • The impact of fuel poverty on individuals and communities
  • Why and how off-gas rural households are affected
  • Basic facts about off-gas heating and hot water systems
  • How to identify households at risk of/living in fuel poverty
  • Solutions to fuel poverty
  • Sources of available advice and assistance
  • Support and resources available
what is fuel poverty
What is Fuel Poverty?

“..a fuel poor household is one which

needs to spend more than 10%of

household income to achieve a

satisfactory heatingregime21OC in the

living room and 18OCin other occupied


Fuel Poverty Strategy 2001

Essentially fuel poor households are those living in cold and/or damp homes that they find it difficult to heat

fuel poverty the facts
Fuel Poverty – The Facts
  • Around 5.1 million households are fuel poor in England
  • In the UK approximately 6.2 million households are fuel poor
  • For every 1% increase in fuel prices, NEA estimates another 40,000 households enter fuel poverty
fuel poverty by region
Fuel poverty by region

The fuel poverty projections in the chart above are NEA assumptions based on all fuel companies having raised gas prices by 19%

and electricity prices by 10% September 2011. DECC estimate used for 2007 predictions.


Causes of Fuel Poverty

Under occupancy

Low incomes

High fuel costs

Energy inefficient homes

Fuel Poverty

Don’t heat the home

Heat the home

Ill health


Fuel Debt

Housing Disrepair

risk groups
Risk Groups
  • Those over 60 yrs and particularly over 75’s
  • Those living with a long term illness
  • Those with a disability
  • Children particularly the under 5’s

Any household is at risk of fuel poverty if they cannot afford sufficient fuel for heating, hot water and appliances. Those on low fixed incomes are particularly at risk.

cold britain
Cold Britain

In Britain, a cold spell during a mild winter is followed:

  • Two days later by a sudden increase in heart attacks by up to a third
  • Five days later by an increase in strokes
  • Twelve days later by an increase in respiratory illnesses

The UK also has a high number of excess winter deaths

cold homes and health
Cold homes and health

Cold homes can be a significant risk to health:

  • 18-21°C - no risk to sedentary, healthy people
  • Below 16°C - diminished resistance to respiratory infections
  • Below 12°C - increased blood pressure and viscosity
  • Below 9°C - after 2 or more hours, deep body temperature falls
health impacts
Health impacts
  • Increased respiratory illness (asthma etc)
  • Increased blood pressure leading to heart attacks and strokes
  • Worsening arthritis and rheumatism
  • Reduced mobility and dexterity
  • Mild hypothermia/hypothermia
  • Reduced resistance to colds and infections
  • Worsening of long term medical health
  • Mental health and wellbeing can be diminished
other impacts
Other impacts
  • Impact on community
    • Homes in disrepair may look unsightly and affect the perception of neighbourhoods
  • Impact on local economy
    • Less money to spend within the local economy
  • Educational impacts
    • Educational attainment of children suffers
    • Bullying of children
  • Social exclusion
    • Embarrassed to invite people into their homes
    • Less social cohesion through social isolation
    • Less money for social activities
why are off gas areas particularly affected by fuel poverty
Why are off-gas areas particularly affected by fuel poverty?
  • Location and access to fuel
  • Higher cost of fuels (Bulk and per kW/h)
  • Requirement to bulk buy
  • Price fluctuation
  • Transportation problems
  • Tariff discounts not applicable (source of fuel)
  • Customer protection and fuel price regulation
Energy use in the home

Understanding heating and hot water systems



Energy consumption in the home



Hot Water





Wall hung

Floor mounted

immersion heater economy 7
Immersion Heater Economy 7

Element B - Switches on when boost is required only

Standard / Single immersion

Element A - Switches on when timer requests in the evening (on Economy 7)


who can identify fuel poverty
Who can identify fuel poverty?
  • Anyone
  • Those working with the public are in an ideal position as they come into contact with the public on a frequent basis!
  • It is especially useful if people are seen in their own homes. There are various triggers that may indicate that a household is in fuel poverty.

Triggers – What you may SEE:


Severe condensation on windows

Curtains kept closed to retain heat


Mould stains on walls or curtains

Portable bottled gas or electric heaters

Heating controls absent / not working / switched off

Visual evidence that heating appliances are not being used. e.g. dust on heating elements

Blocked vents


Triggers – What you may SENSE:


Large differences in temperatures between rooms


The smell of damp

triggers what you may hear
Triggers – What you may HEAR:
  • Home is usually too cold
  • Home is draughty
  • Fuel bills are too high
  • Getting into fuel debt
  • Stays in one room or bed to keep warm
  • Child/ family member has respiratory problems
  • Uses prepayment meter to avoid incurring debt
  • Rationing fuel
improve the energy efficiency of homes
Improve the energy efficiency of homes


Loft Insulation

Cavity Wall Insulation

Draught proofing


Energy efficient heating systems


Renewable and Micro generation technologies

eliminate damp and condensation
Adequate ventilation

How to reduce moisture production in the home

Eliminate damp and condensation

If damp and condensation is an issue consider:

how to reduce condensation
How to Reduce Condensation

Main focus areas are kitchens and bathrooms, so:

Put lids on pans

Dry clothes outdoors

Find an alternative to bottle gas heaters

Improve ventilation:

Install extractor fans (humidistat controlled)/cooker hoods

Open windows (where it is safe to do so)

Close & draught-proof doors

Install trickle vents

improve incomes
Improve incomes

Are householders claiming their benefit entitlements?

Accessing benefits can increase incomes and ‘passport’ households into available grant schemes and other services

reduce fuel costs
Reduce fuel costs

Are households:

Using the cheapest fuels for heating, hot water and appliances?

On the cheapest fuel tariffs and payment option?

Using the cheapest suppliers?

Managing fuel debts?

use heating hot water and appliances efficiently
Use heating, hot water and appliances efficiently

Are households:

Using heating and hot water controls correctly?

Turning appliances off when not on use?

Using energy efficient lighting and electrical appliances?


Income maximisation - benefit entitlement checks

  • Are households claiming all their benefit entitlements?
  • Receipt of benefits is often a passport to other services
  • A householder’s first point of contact should be their local authority benefits team
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) may provide this service locally -
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Local voluntary sector agencies (such as Age UK - Tel: 0800 169 6565) may also provide advice for some households
support on energy prices
Support on energy prices
  • Winter Fuel Payments
    • Between £100-£300 dependent upon particular circumstances
  • Cold Weather Payments
    • £25 per week for every seven consecutive days below 0o Celsius ambient temperature
  • Warm Home Discount
    • Automatic £120 discount on an electricity bill for those receiving the guarantee element of Pension’s Credit and pay their bill to 1 of 6 key suppliers. Other Pension Credit customers and some low-income or vulnerable households may also receive discretionary support from some suppliers by application.
schemes 1 energy company obligation
Schemes (1) Energy Company Obligation

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is a new programme designed to

reduce Britain’s energy consumption by funding home improvements worth

around £1.3 billion every year.

ECO will place obligations on certain larger domestic energy suppliers. These obligations must be achieved through the promotion of energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users in Great Britain.

The three distinct ECO obligations:

Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO): promotes the installation of solid wall and hard-to-treat cavity wall insulation alongside packages of measures (see Chapters 4 and 5).

Carbon Savings Community Obligation (CSCO): promotes the installation of insulating measures and connections to district heating systems in areas of low income and rural areas (see Chapters 4 and 6).

Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO): promotes the installation of measures, including the repair and replacement of boilers, to homes in receipt of certain benefits, to reduce the overall cost of space heating (see Chapters 4 and 7).

Where to start

Free impartial advice services are available. They can help with:

• finding out if you may be eligible

• explaining the support available

• accessing the support

• more information about the Energy Companies Obligation.

Telephone: 0300 123 1234

Please also see Green Deal for non-eligible ECO households.

Schemes (3) Energy Company Obligation

trust funds
Trust funds

British Gas

  • One off payments for household bills / energy arrears or essential appliances.

EDF Energy

  • One off payments for household bills / energy arrears or essential appliances.

E.ON (Caring Energy Fund)

  • Will provide essential appliances and heating repairs or boiler replacement Energy efficiency measures / advice

Southern (Energy Plus Care)

  • Essential appliances and heating repairs or boiler replacement

nPower (first Step Fund)

  • Contact First Step team

ScottishPower Energy Peoples Trust

fuel debt advice
Fuel Debt Advice
  • Consumer Direct
    • Telephone: 08454 04 05 06
    • Website:
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
    • Website:
  • Turn2us
    • Website:
  • Your first point of contact should be your supplier
fuel switching
Fuel switching

Households may be able to switch fuel suppliers in order to reduce

their energy costs

Things to consider:

  • Cost
  • Check standing charge
  • Will prices change?
  • Contract– length/exit charge
  • Level of use

U-Switch provides independent advice on fuel switching

priority service register
Priority Service Register

Each fuel utility company may have its own version of the register

Following can apply:

Customers of pensionable age

Disabled or chronically sick

Hearing and/or visually impaired

Services may include:

Bills and leaflets in large print and Braille

Talking bills

Use of password

Special controls and adaptors

Annual gas safety check

No winter disconnection

energy advice
Energy Advice
  • Energy Saving Trust (EST)
    • Tel: 0800 512012
    • Website:
  • The Home Heat Helpline
    • Tel: 0800 336699
Next steps

What you can do as a CORE energy champion!

“we are not expecting any champions to be energy experts but rather be able to identify households in need and to signpost them on to specialist energy and other services”

your energy champion role
Your energy champion role

As an energy champion all we want you to do is:

  • Be enthusiastic and commit to try and promote key energy saving/energy efficiency messages to at least 15 rural off-gas households in need
  • Encourage and signpost households to specialist advice and services
  • Maintain monthly contact with your appointed NEA mentor and attend two further catch-up meetings
  • Complete and return a simple record of the information given to each household
  • Take part in a simple end of project survey
promoting key messages to households
Promoting key messages to households

NEA has provided you with 2 simple resources to help:

  • A ‘10 top tips’ resource for circulation to individual households
  • A ‘booklet’ presentation if you want to do an awareness session with a group

Both resources will help you to promote the same key messages to rural off-gas households

nea mentoring support
NEA mentoring support

NEA mentors are you source of support and guidance as an energy champion

Mentors will:

  • Contact you each month to check on progress
  • Provide any guidance you need to promote key messages
  • Invite you to two short catch-up sessions to showcase your work as a energy champion
  • Send you two email bulletins containing information on key developments
record keeping
Record keeping

All energy champions are expected to keep a simple record of their work – a checklist is provided for you

group discussion how can you promote key messages to local residents
Group discussion“How can you promote key messages to local residents?”

Think about:

  • How can you best promote messages and encourage individuals to act on the information provided?
    • Where are the opportunities for promotion?
    • How will you engage individuals or groups?

Record at least 3 key things you plan do to promote messages as part of your day-to-day activity

End of sessionPlease collect your energy champion certificateand resource packGood luck, we’ll be in touch!