Expert advice to keep your home warm – and the support to do so – are available from Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Energy At Home Advice Service – but volunteers are needed this winter to help spread the word to vulnerable residents.
The service offers help to anyone who needs advice on heating insulation and renewable energy and is looking for volunteers who could spare a few hours a month or more to help people living in particularly cold homes.
The council’s declaration of a climate emergency and target to make the district carbon neutral by 2030 includes supporting residents and landlords to make improvements to existing buildings to become more energy efficient and install renewable energy.
Amongst the support the Energy At Home Advice Service offers to vulnerable residents is an affordable warmth grant, signposting to entitlements such as winter fuel allowance and how to access priority services.
The Advice Service is open to anyone living in the district who is looking for independent advice on smart meters, heating or how to get a low-cost energy loan through Wessex Resolutions for insulation or renewable energy installations.
John Wilkinson, the council’s director of Economy and Growth, said: “Our Energy At Home Advice Service is there to help all our residents with a range of issues such as reducing their energy bills, how to tackle condensation in cold weather or which energy saving improvements are suitable for their homes.
“This winter, we’d like as many vulnerable people in the district as possible to have the help they need to keep their homes warm and stay healthy. By volunteering to join the team people could make a real difference in their community by supporting those who’d really benefit from energy efficiency measures, especially during cold weather.”
Full training on energy efficiency will be given, including the opportunity to study for a City & Guilds qualification. Volunteers could become involved in a range of activities including visiting older people to help them take advantage of grants or running local energy advice events, under the guidance of the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) which runs the service on behalf of the council. There are regular team meetings and one-to-one support for volunteers. Find out more at https://www.cse.org.uk/news/view/2399
Free advice on keeping warm and energy efficiency can be found at https://www.energyathome.org.uk/ or by calling 0800 038 5680.
Anyone needing emergency help for a cold home should call the council’s Housing Standards and Improvement Team on 01225 396444.
Details of Wessex Resolution loans can be found at www.wessexresolutions.org.uk