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4,000 vulnerable Portsmouth households to benefit additional energy and money saving support

4,000 of Portsmouth’s most vulnerable households will get help and advice to cut their fuel bills through cash secured by Portsmouth City Council. The £170,000 grant comes from the charity the Environment Centre as part of its Energy Redress Scheme. This aims to get people out of fuel poverty. This is the latest in £7.4m … Continued

4,000 of Portsmouth’s most vulnerable households will get help and advice to cut their fuel bills through cash secured by Portsmouth City Council.

The £170,000 grant comes from the charity the Environment Centre as part of its Energy Redress Scheme. This aims to get people out of fuel poverty.

This is the latest in £7.4m of grants the council has got to tackle fuel poverty in the city. Around 12.1 per cent of Portsmouth households in Portsmouth cannot afford to keep their homes adequately warm, compared with the national average rate of 10.9 per cent.

The grant will help create a team to reach out to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities to reduce their risk of fuel poverty and support them to stay warm and well in their homes.

It will also enable fuel-poor households to receive an in-depth and extended home-visit service, covering free fuel top ups to a dedicated energy advice phone line. This builds on the existing provision that offers a range of measures, including:

– install free simple energy saving measures such as LED light bulbs and draught-proofing

– check if residents are on the best energy tariff

– arrange a free money advice consultation

– residents find funding for further energy-saving home improvements.

Funding will also be used to further develop the City’s ‘Fuel Poverty Working Group’, made up of stakeholders from across Portsmouth working towards a collaborative approach to tackling fuel poverty.

Councillor Darren Sanders, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said:

“Too many people in our city are forced to choose between heating and eating. That is wrong, which is why it is great that the council is – yet again – tackling the problem.

“Too often, people do not know what to turn or what to do when it comes to cutting fuel bills. This finding from the Environment Centre helps deal with this vital gap.

“I am keen to make sure the council and other agencies in the city make our homes as energy efficient as possible. That is why I am looking forward to seeing the city’s first strategy to do just that soon.”

The additional funding comes shortly after the council launched its ‘energy and water at home strategy’ consultation, which focuses heavily on fuel poverty mitigation.

The council is currently working towards a 1st April launch when the new schemes will be operational. Residents will be referred into the additional support services after having an initial visit if deemed eligible.

Adam Goulden, Chief Executive of the Environment Centre said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded funding through the Redress Scheme and are looking forward to supporting Portsmouth City Council and the Fuel Poverty Action group as they work to tackle this hugely important issue.

We welcome the opportunity to be able to provide more intensive support to a greater number of vulnerable residents and help them stay warm and well in the homes.”

Residents will also be able to apply for the additional support through the council’s new energy and money saving website www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk.

Energy Advice Drop-ins
Free energy advice drop-in sessions announced for January and February

Switched On Portsmouth, through Portsmouth City Council, will be hosting a number of drop-in sessions throughout January and February in order to help residents save energy and money in their homes. We will be providing expert advice, energy saving measures as well as information on a number of free schemes, from free gas central heating … Continued

Switched On Portsmouth, through Portsmouth City Council, will be hosting a number of drop-in sessions throughout January and February in order to help residents save energy and money in their homes. We will be providing expert advice, energy saving measures as well as information on a number of free schemes, from free gas central heating and installation to free home visits.

We will be visiting community centres, libraries and hubs across Portsmouth from the 8th January through to the 17th February. Drop in sessions are free to attend and are open to everyone.

Find your nearest drop in session below:

 

Council accepts Energy Efficiency award
Portsmouth City Council wins National Energy Efficiency Award for work helping vulnerable residents

Portsmouth City Council wins National Energy Efficiency Award for work helping vulnerable residents Portsmouth City Council’s in-house Energy Services team have received national recognition for its work mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents.   The team also received a special commendation for the National Council of the Year award, … Continued

Portsmouth City Council wins National Energy Efficiency Award for work helping vulnerable residents

Portsmouth City Council’s in-house Energy Services team have received national recognition for its work mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents.

 

The team also received a special commendation for the National Council of the Year award, having won the award for the South East region earlier in the year.

 

The National Social Responsibility Company of the Year award is presented to one UK organisation which is addressing the requirements of is community, whilst having a positive impact on society and the environment.

 

Fuel poverty affects 12.1% of all households in Portsmouth, specifically those who cannot afford to keep adequately warm at a reasonable cost. As a result, residents may be living in cold homes, which can affect physical and mental health, childhood attainment and lead to damp and mould issues in properties.

 

Since 2017, Portsmouth residents have been benefiting from award-winning fuel poverty mitigation initiatives run by the council’s Energy Services team. These include the Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP), Warmer Homes and the Emergency Boiler Replacement Scheme.

 

LEAP offers home-visits and energy advice to residents, whilst providing the most vulnerable with free energy efficiency measures such as LED light bulbs and TV standby plugs.

 

The Warmer Homes scheme offers eligible households a fully funded gas central heating system, and gas connection if required. The total value of the gas connection and the central heating system typically equates to £6,000.

 

These initiatives have saved vulnerable residents £937,373 to date. More than 1,000 homes have benefited from the provision of expert energy efficiency advice, while 1,500 fully-funded central heating systems have been made available for residents the Portsmouth area.

 

The team have also been recognised for industry-leading work around renewable energy generation.

 

Councillor Darren Sanders, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said:

 

“We are thrilled that our expert in-house Energy Services team have again been recognised as the leading organisation in the United Kingdom when it comes to social responsibility.”

 

“It is great for the city that it has a service that is unmatched in the UK when it comes to their energy efficiency needs, offering brilliant energy and money saving initiatives”.

 

During the award presentation, judges referred to the winning organisation as having an “outstanding application” whilst acknowledging that they “work with multiple funding streams and partners to provide an excellent scheme”.

 

Portsmouth City Council will launch a brand new website, Switched On Portsmouth, this month which will provide residents with even more energy efficiency advice and better access to initiatives that will save them energy and money.

 

For information and advice from Portsmouth City Council on the help available to keep your energy bills low, your house warm and you and your family healthy, please click here.

Man adjusting boiler
Residents can now benefit from free emergency boiler replacement

The Emergency Central Heating Offer (ECHO) provides free boiler repairs and replacements to eligible residents with broken or condemned boilers. The initiative is delivered in partnership with AgilityEco and was launched in 2017. To date, it has helped 1,500 families in need with either a boiler repair or replacement across the UK. Residents can face … Continued

The Emergency Central Heating Offer (ECHO) provides free boiler repairs and replacements to eligible residents with broken or condemned boilers. The initiative is delivered in partnership with AgilityEco and was launched in 2017. To date, it has helped 1,500 families in need with either a boiler repair or replacement across the UK.

Residents can face health and wellbeing issues if their boiler were to break down. It has been identified that a high percentage of residents who live in Portsmouth may have an ageing or poorly maintained boiler. Often with little or no savings available, repairing or replacing them is often overlooked by residents.

Almost £1 million of funding has been secured from energy suppliers to assist residents who meet the criteria set out by the initiative. From point of contact, the ECHO team aim to repair or replace faulty boilers within seven working days.

Last year, 400 households benefitted from the repair or replacement of their broken boiler system through the ECHO initiative. As a result of these measures 19,000 tonnes of carbon will be saved, whilst residents save a combined total of around £5 million on their bills.

Who’s eligible?

In order to qualify for assistance under the ECHO programme, applicants will need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Applicants must either:

– Be part of the Help to Heat group through receipt of qualifying benefits

– Or meet the criteria laid out by their Local Authority in their Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent

And

– Heat their home using gas central heating

– Be in an emergency “no heat” situation as a result of their boiler being broken

– Be the owner occupier of the property

– Have no access to alternative sources of funding able to provide emergency assistance.

To benefit from the initiative, please contact Portsmouth City Council’s Energy Services team. The team will be able to refer eligible residents to the ECHO scheme.

To see if you are eligible for a free boiler repair or replacement, please contact us:

energysaving@portsmouthcc.gov.uk 

or call us on 02392 841947.

Portsmouth wins 'Council of the year' award
Portsmouth crowned ‘Council of the Year’ for energy efficiency

Portsmouth City Council’s in-house Energy Services team has won the coveted ‘Council of the Year Award’ at the 2019 South East Energy Efficiency Awards. The team was also commended in a second category for their work around mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents. The award is presented to one … Continued

Portsmouth City Council’s in-house Energy Services team has won the coveted ‘Council of the Year Award’ at the 2019 South East Energy Efficiency Awards. The team was also commended in a second category for their work around mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents.

The award is presented to one council or local authority that has shown commitment to promoting energy efficiency within their region whilst thanking them for their efforts.

In recent years, the authority has invested heavily in energy services, specifically looking at renewable generation and energy efficiency for homes and local organisations. Projects include low energy lighting, fuel poverty mitigation, solar panel installations, utility bill validation and energy certification among other services.

Portsmouth City Council boasts one of the largest local authority energy teams in the UK. Over recent years the team has installed almost 400 solar systems across Portsmouth; totalling over 20,000 solar panels and producing enough electricity to run 635,000 homes for a day. This solar power makes a significant saving to the city’s carbon emissions, with 1,600 tonnes a year of carbon saved by using this clean power.

Vulnerable residents benefit from the award-winning initiatives run by the council’s Energy Services Team. Three schemes that are currently offered include Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP), Warmer Homes and the Emergency Boiler Replacement Scheme. LEAP offers home energy advice to residents, whilst providing the most vulnerable with free energy efficiency measures such as LED light bulbs and TV standby plugs.

The Warmer Homes scheme offers eligible households a fully funded gas central heating system, and gas connection if required. The total value of the gas connection and the central heating system typically equates to £6,000.

These initiatives have resulted in £937,373 worth of savings to date for vulnerable residents, the provision of expert energy efficiency advice for 1,000 homes and 1,500 fully-funded central heating systems being made available for residents the Portsmouth area.

The council aims to continue to reduce the rate of fuel poverty in the city by providing key initiatives to Portsmouth residents.

Councillor Darren Sanders from Portsmouth City Council said:

“As a city, Portsmouth must do all it can to tackle that climate emergency and air pollution crisis we face. The Council is uniquely placed at the forefront of clean energy in the South of England and I am delighted that it is getting recognition for the work it is doing to make that happen.

“This is not the end, though. We must and we will continue to plan and carry out pioneering initiatives to help mitigate fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions and improve both air quality and energy efficiency in our city”

Portsmouth City Council fought off tough competition from Sevenoaks Council, Mid Sussex Council and Bracknell Forest Council for the crown of ‘Regional Council of the Year Award’.

Elderly lady changing thermostat
200 residents benefit from referrals across Portsmouth

Our Warmer Homes scheme has now received over 200 referrals across the Portsmouth, Gosport & Havant area! Warmer Homes is our free gas central heating scheme which is open to social tenants, private rental and homeowners in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant area. The scheme has funding for up to 1,500 free central heating installations … Continued

Our Warmer Homes scheme has now received over 200 referrals across the Portsmouth, Gosport & Havant area! Warmer Homes is our free gas central heating scheme which is open to social tenants, private rental and homeowners in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant area.

The scheme has funding for up to 1,500 free central heating installations and is available all year round. Please mention the scheme to family, friends and the residents you support.

Not sure who qualifies? Our eligibility criteria is broad and typically includes those on low incomes and those in receipt of means-tested benefits. Resident can also apply if they have a long-term health issue or are in a vulnerable situation.

To find out more about the initiative and to see if you are eligible, click here.

For more information or marketing materials, please contact our Energy Services Team: 023 9284 1947 or energysaving@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Solar PV on Gymnastic Centre
PCC achieves a record year of solar power revenue

The record-breaking sunshine during the summer of 2018 proved to be an added bonus to the city’s solar energy production. Over the last seven years, the City Council has installed 23,000 panels totalling 5.75 Megawatts across their buildings in Portsmouth as part of a strategy to reduce energy expenditure, carbon emissions and earn income from … Continued

The record-breaking sunshine during the summer of 2018 proved to be an added bonus to the city’s solar energy production. Over the last seven years, the City Council has installed 23,000 panels totalling 5.75 Megawatts across their buildings in Portsmouth as part of a strategy to reduce energy expenditure, carbon emissions and earn income from the sale of power and subsidies.

In 2018 these solar systems generated 3.75GWh of clean electricity, enough to power 960 standard 3 bed houses for a year. This generated £350,000 for the City Council during the sunniest year on record; and also pushed the total income to PCC from the panels over their lifetime to over £1 million.

City buildings including libraries, leisure centres, schools, housing blocks, offices and the Civic offices all host the council’s Solar infrastructure. Britain’s heatwave last summer helped boost the energy generated at these sites and some buildings experienced periods of being entirely powered by solar power, said Meredydd Hughes – AD Buildings.

Andrew Waggott Energy Services Team Manager for Portsmouth City Council said, ” Installing solar PV on operational sites has made sound economic sense and has off-set the need to buy peak-time electricity from the grid. In addition further cost savings were achieved by having the working project managed by the Council’s own in-house energy services team.

Want to find out more?

If you have any questions about what you might be eligible for or if you just want to find out more about how we can help, just send us an email or give us a call