Residents in Liverpool could benefit from warmer homes and help with their energy bills this winter thanks to a new partnership in the city.
Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action and British Gas, the UK’s leading energy provider, have teamed up with Liverpool City Council and VIRIDIS, a consortium of local authorities and housing providers across Merseyside, to launch the Community Action Partnership, as part of a £1.2 million community investment programme across the UK.
Specialist ‘Energy Champions’ will be trained to help support vulnerable households by offering advice on energy saving support including free insulation, financial help and other ways to save energy in the home. Community events in the city will be organised to raise awareness of energy efficiency and the help available.
Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at National Energy Action said: “NEA is delighted to be working with British Gas, Liverpool City Council and VIRIDIS to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency in our communities. Fuel poverty is a serious issue in Liverpool, affecting 14.4% of households in the area. Through this partnership we will be able to deliver a range of activities to address the causes and treat the symptoms of fuel poverty, including training for energy co-ordinators and elected members, advice sessions, and new resources to help communicate the issues more widely.”
The Partnership will work with a range of local agencies to promote energy efficiency in communities and improve lives through local support.
Christine Tate from British Gas, which has funded the partnership, said: “Our significant investment in this partnership will mean that help and support is available in the communities that need it most. We are committed to improving lives in the area and have invested in a number of ECO schemes in the Wirral and in Liverpool this year to make homes warmer and more efficient. We expect to deliver tangible benefits and help to make a significant difference to people’s lives in Liverpool.”
Maggi Howard, Chair of VIRIDIS and Director of Assets at Liverpool Mutual Homes, said: “The launch of this initiative demonstrates the value of working together with key partners to provide new investment within the region. Many families are now in real fuel poverty and we are now able to deliver a range of activities and events to provide vital help and support. This will greatly improve our ability to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents and make a real difference in tackling fuel poverty with a focus to reduce fuel bills.”
Anyone who would like advice and assistance on heating their homes affordably this winter should call the Save Energy Advice Line – 0800 043 0151
The Advice Line operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with a free call back service for people who leave a message out of hours.
The service, providing a free, impartial and independent telephone advice service to Merseyside residents, currently operates across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral, and is part-funded by Local Authorities in these areas.
It is provided by local charity Energy Projects Plus, www.epplus.org.uk.
The partnership was launched at the ‘Winter Survival Community Event’, held at St George’s Hall . The free event, which was organised by the City Council, was aimed at supporting vulnerable residents. Some of the issues covered included health and wellbeing, keeping warm, fuel poverty/debt, energy efficiency information and grants, keeping active, benefits maximisation and much more.
Pictured ( left to right: Paula Lowrey, Viridis, the Lord Mayor.Councillor Erica Kemp, Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive, National Energy Action, Junior Lord Mayor -,Jayne Massley, Councilor Gerrard Woodhouse Mayoral Lead for Older People, Christine Tate, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Cabinet Member for Housing.