Winter Warmth 2021

Nearly 11% of Devon households are living in fuel poverty and more than 500 people in Devon alone may die from cold weather deaths each winter.  Hard to heat homes, associated health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular issues, and fuel poverty compound meaning that staying warm is a struggle for many households.

Exeter Community Energy’s Hardship Fund has been designed to direct funding to households most indeed of support.  Donating your Winter Fuel Payment is one way to deliver direct support to vulnerable Devon households.

Support our Winter Warmth Campaign via our JustGiving Campaign donating your Winter Fuel Payment. 

If you don’t receive the Winter Fuel Payment, don’t feel that you are excluded from our Winter Warmth campaign. Any donation to the ECOE Healthy Homes Hardship Fund is very welcome and it will mean we can do more to keep others warm this winter.

BACS and cheque payments also possible, please contact us for more information.

Our Healthy Homes for Wellbeing project started in November 2017, and in the past four years we have seen tremendous growth in not only the services we offer, but also the numbers of residents we have helped, as well as an increase in the geographical area that we cover. The Healthy Homes project provides free practical energy advice and support to the vulnerable and fuel poor at drop-in energy advice clinics, other events across the region, and during LEAP home visits in Exeter, Mid Devon, East Devon, Teignbridge and Torbay.

From September 2020-March 2021 we helped 1145 households to save over £1m collectively, nearly £900 per household on average. During the first lockdown we switched to a telephone-based service and proactively contacted people already on our database offering a new kind of support. Alongside the usual energy advice, we also offered to do shopping, collect medical supplies, signposted to key Covid support services and for some people  became ‘befrienders’, making weekly or monthly telephone calls as needed.

We’ll do whatever we can to support the local community to stay warm and well in their homes.

The ECOE Healthy Homes Hardship Fund

During the past four years we have seen too many examples of extreme poverty and we realised in many situations just a small grant could make all the difference to a struggling household.

There are charities, local and national, that offer hardship grants, but their application process often means it would take too long. And sometimes there simply aren’t any grants or easy solutions to the problems we encounter.

We decided to create our own Hardship Fund which is enabling us to make a world of difference with just a small intervention, like providing an oil-filled electric heater or blankets, paying for boiler repairs or replacing a broken fridge or cooker for a family struggling on minimal benefits.

This winter the compounded effects of the Covid pandemic and now the energy crisis, will force many more families into fuel poverty. We are inundated with requests for support. Families are already struggling to pay for heating costs.