WASH-ing away Fuel Poverty
In February 2019, around Fuel Poverty Awareness Day we aimed to fight fuel poverty in Carlisle, Cumbria with an event funded by the National Energy Action’s Warm and Safe Homes Fund. Hosted at Longtown Memorial Hall Community Centre, the event attracted interest and was covered by local media including CFM Radio and local favourite newspaper, The News and Star.
Debbie Huddart of CFM commented “We are happy that Warmer Communities chose CFM to advertise this helpful scheme”.
Offering advice, guidance and presentations on the effects of fuel poverty we raised awareness of our whole house approach and funding available for energy efficient heating and insulation solutions.
Inspiring interest further afield, high profile organisations were able to offer advice and present their solutions to the public. Attended by our partner Homelife Improvement Agency (HIA) Homelife, we discussed energy-efficient solutions and distributed advice on staying snug and warm, safely. Alongside us were Citizen’s Advice Carlisle and Eden, Daikin and CAFs.
Attended by our partner Homelife Improvement Agency (HIA), Homelife and high-profile organisations including Citizen’s Advice Carlisle and Eden, Daikin and CAFS we raised awareness of our Whole House approach to funding solutions that will help eradicate fuel poverty.
Following our 2018 Warm and Safe Homes Campaign, our report found over 430,000 of the poorest children are living in private rented properties that are impossible to keep warm, with landlords failing in their duties to provide safe, decent housing.
Working with Homelife, we have delivered First Time Central Heating to homes throughout Carlisle, safeguarding households from poor health in the run-up to colder months.
Mrs Lawson received a heating upgrade through the scheme when her gas fire was condemned following a return from hospital. Initially, Mrs Lawson had reservations about upgrading her heating but was pleasantly surprised by the results and savings.
We worked hard to identify further funding to help her and as a result further grants were provided through Homelife to improve her wellbeing.
The lads did a smashing job the service was excellent and there wasn’t any mess after they finished!
We continue to replace inefficient heating methods such as Electric Storage Heaters with an A Rated boiler from top manufacturers such as Ideal and Worcester that offer energy and money savings throughout the whole year.
The boilers are complete with thermostatic controls that enable easy control to further reduce energy waste and come with a 5-year warranty as standard.
Thanks to The Fuel Poor Network Extension Scheme, even rural properties that are not currently connected to Mains gas are able to benefit from First Time Central Heating. We have contacted eligible postcodes across Carlisle and District and advertised the fund in the local area to raise awareness. We have housing areas in the pipeline for improvements, but funding is limited so we’re encouraging as many households to contact us as possible.
It’s not just the Warm Homes Fund that is helping us to reduce Fuel Poverty across Carlisle and District. Through ECO3 and ECO Flex, we have also been able to install energy saving insulation which can save households up to £225 per year* whilst lowering Carbon emissions and keeping homes warmer.
The updated Fuel Poverty Strategy was recently released by House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee [BEIS] and stated how vital effective insulation will be in achieving the UK Government goal of Net Zero – 0 Carbon emissions by 2050 to prevent further environmental damage. Furthermore, the our ability to access funding such as ECO is essential to the Government’s aims of reducing Fuel Poverty.
As many people as possible, who are without Central Heating and suffering from damp, mould and cold across Carlisle should contact us. Fuel Poverty is not always easy to recognise and refers to a household’s fuel costs being significantly higher than their income which can lead to a choice between heating and eating.
As a Social Enterprise, we are the vehicle to drive change and provide access to these funding streams to residents who could not otherwise afford to upgrade their properties and instead rely on Foodbanks or choose to live in the cold.
We are continuing to work with Carlisle City Council Home Improvement Agency Homelife to deliver these upgrades to as many people as possible.
There’s still time to register an interest in funding for First Time Central Heating, even if you’re off-gas!
Text WARM to 60777
*Energy Savings Trust, 2019