New Season update from Healthy Homes

New Season update from Healthy Homes

The pandemic has brought many challenges, not least to the vulnerable residents in our community. We have been busy working behind the scenes to ensure we are ready to help those most in need this Autumn/Winter.
LEAP Relaunches
Our home visits with Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) stopped in March, as the lockdown arrived. We’ve been giving advice by telephone since then.  We’ve been helping lots of residents with a variety of energy issues, including broken boilers, billing problems, fuel debt, meter problems and general tariff and switching advice.
The good news is that LEAP is back from August, with a new look. All of our Home Energy Advisors (HEAs) have been undertaking LEAP training since  early August and we are ready to take referrals again.
LEAP offers a free of charge energy advice service. Our friendly Energy Advisors can
  • offer simple energy and money saving advice via telephone
  • install free simple energy saving measures such as LED light bulbs and draught-proofing during a LEAP follow up home visit
  • check if you’re on the best energy tariff via our switching service
  • arrange a free money advice consultation
  • help you find funding for further energy-saving home improvements
Healthy Homes Team Update
We are anticipating high demand this winter. Many people have been coping on reduced income during the lockdown, and of course there have been job losses. In readiness for this we have two new HEAs. We welcome Julie Glover and Charlene Battams to the team.
Tara Bowers has recently taken over as Project Manager and is also a HEA.
Gill Wyatt remains on the team, as a HEA, and also as Community Liaison Officer, responsible for handling our training sessions to frontline workers, and giving community talks.
The team is completed with two further HEAs, Matthew Axe and Paul Whittall.

Our Current Services

We are now providing the following services:

  • Telephone and email support to help with:
    Energy advice to reduce bills and stay warm
    Billing issues and tariff comparisons
    Warm Home Discount and Priority Services Register applications
    Signposting to other services including for grants for insulation or heating upgrades.
  • Emergency support for those with urgent energy or billing issues, or heating issues such as broken heating.
  • Free Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) telephone advice and follow up home visits are available for all those who are eligible. This includes those on a low income, receiving benefits, over 65 and any household who has somebody with a health condition or disability.
  • Referrals for benefit checks, debt advice, social tariffs with SW Water and safety checks.
  • Webinars to replace our talks and trainings. Any local community group can contact us for a webinar to find out more about how residents can be helped. Any community, health and social care team who would like to receive a training can also contact us and we can design a webinar for your staff and volunteers. Email us on healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk
  • Home visits can be arranged when both the HEA and resident(s) can be kept safe in line with government guidance.
Green Homes Grants
The Government recently announced some new grants for home improvements. The Green Homes Grants will give homeowners, including owner occupiers and social/private landlords, vouchers to install one or more of the following:
•    solid wall, under-floor, cavity wall or roof insulation
•    air source or ground source heat pump
•    solar thermal
In addition, households can use their voucher for further energy saving measures. These include one or more of the following:
•    double or triple glazing/secondary glazing, when replacing single glazing
•    upgrading to energy efficient doors
•    hot water tank/appliance tank thermostats/heating controlsWe can offer advice on applying for this grant, as well as other sources of funding. Already, we have had reports of businesses touting for work and misleading people with false information. We offer impartial advice in this area, so do contact us if you have any queries.

Warm Home Discount

Some of the energy suppliers have started to open applications for this years Warm Home Discount. As always we are here to help residents apply for the discount. £140 is paid direct to the electricity bill. Eligibility varies depending on the terms of the scheme with each supplier, and remember the discount scheme is often open only for a short time period and is given on a first come basis. Its a good idea for everyone to check their eligibility, and we are happy to assist with this.

 

If you are anyone you know needs advide or help from our Healthy Homes team of advisors, contact us on 0800 772 3617 or by email healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk