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Homeowners have been warned about scammers

There has been an increase in fraudulent texts related to energy efficiency schemes – Fraud – Are you at risk? (caportsmouth.org.uk) There has been an increase in fake texts designed to trick people into providing personal or financial details. They are targeting households that are struggling to pay their energy bills, and people are being … Continued

There has been an increase in fraudulent texts related to energy efficiency schemes – Fraud – Are you at risk? (caportsmouth.org.uk)

There has been an increase in fake texts designed to trick people into providing personal or financial details. They are targeting households that are struggling to pay their energy bills, and people are being urged to contact their suppliers and/or local authority for help.

Do not engage with these texts unless sent from your approved provider directly. For any advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

If you think something might be a scam:

  • Don’t give out any personal information or bank details
  • Don’t use any contact details from the possible scam

Read more from Citizens Advice on how to check if something might be a scam.

 

Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills – Citizens Advice

If you have been a victim, or witness to any scam please report this to Action Fraud

For more information on grants and free energy-efficient measures contact the Switched On Portsmouth team by emailing hello@switchedonportsmouth.co.uk or calling the freephone on 0800 260 5907.

 

How do you know you can trust us?

Switched On Portsmouth are part of Portsmouth City Council, and you will never be asked for an upfront cost or bank details of any kind. We are a service that offers free measures to households that need support. The team will always contact you directly and identify who they are over the phone.

We're supporting Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Thursday 30 November
Fuel Poverty Awareness Day 2023

What is fuel poverty?   Fuel poverty is referred to when a household struggles to afford to heat the home to a temperature that will keep them warm.   Switched On Portsmouth is a part of Portsmouth City Council that are dedicated to helping low-income households. They offer a variety of Government lead schemes that offer energy … Continued

What is fuel poverty?  

Fuel poverty is referred to when a household struggles to afford to heat the home to a temperature that will keep them warm.  

Switched On Portsmouth is a part of Portsmouth City Council that are dedicated to helping low-income households. They offer a variety of Government lead schemes that offer energy bill support, free energy efficiency upgrades in the home and free advice.  

The schemes that are available to eligible households are:  

  • broken boiler repair and replacement  
  • boiler upgrades 
  • energy efficiency upgrades for on gas and off gas homes  
  • free old and inefficient white goods replacement  
  • free energy saving advice  
  • free cavity wall and loft insulation  
  • home energy visits for small energy saving measures  

 

If you, or someone you know, struggling to pay energy bills contact Switched On Portsmouth. Visit our website at www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk or call our freephone on 0800 260 5907 to find out more.  

GIVEAWAY TIME!  

Our team at Switched On Portsmouth will be in the Cascades centre in Portsmouth, Thursday 30th November between 9am and 5pm to speak to you about the support available.  

Speak to the team, or snap up a selfie with our Parker the Penguin mascot at the table with the hashtag #ParkerThePenguin or #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay and tag us on social media for a chance to win.  

Twitter: @SwitchedOnPorts 

Facebook: Switched On Portsmouth 

Instagram: @SwitchedonPorts 

Prizes are: 

Heated Blanket, to keep you cosy this winter 

£10 Love2Shop voucher  

Insulation
Benefit from free energy efficiency upgrades

Free energy efficiency upgrades for residents across Hampshire and West Sussex are now available. Earlier this year, the Warmer Homes consortium of 23 local authorities, led by Portsmouth City Council, successfully secured funding through the Home Upgrade Grant of up to £41.4 million, a government scheme to improve energy efficiency of vulnerable and low-income households … Continued

Free energy efficiency upgrades for residents across Hampshire and West Sussex are now available.

Earlier this year, the Warmer Homes consortium of 23 local authorities, led by Portsmouth City Council, successfully secured funding through the Home Upgrade Grant of up to £41.4 million, a government scheme to improve energy efficiency of vulnerable and low-income households that do not have gas central heating.

Eligible households can apply to the scheme and receive free measures that could save hundreds of pounds per year, including insulation, air source heat pumps, and solar panels.

Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Portsmouth City Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Greening the City, says:

“I encourage residents to take up on this funding. It’s a chance to reduce energy bills, and improve comfort in your homes, especially as the cold weather begins to settle in again this year.

Even if you aren’t eligible for this particular scheme, there are plenty of other schemes that Switched On Portsmouth can refer you to for energy efficiency upgrades and advice.”

John Moores from Warmer Homes says:

“We’re delighted to have been awarded further funding to support more homes through the Warmer Homes programme. We’ve already helped many households keep warm and healthy whilst reducing their energy bills and improving the energy efficiency of their home. In the last year alone, the Warmer Homes programme has installed fully funded heat pumps, solar panels and insulation that will deliver £10m in lifetime bill savings, an average annual saving of £251 per household and has abated over 50,000 tonnes of CO2.”

This scheme is available now and will be open until 2025.

Apply now by visiting the Warmer Homes website www.warmerhomes.org.uk/apply or calling the freephone 0800 038 5757.

For information on other schemes around Portsmouth, contact the Switched On Portsmouth team at www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk or calling the freephone on 0800 260 5907.

Energy efficiency awards
Council’s fuel poverty work earns energy award

A Portsmouth City Council team that works to save residents money and make their homes as energy efficient as possible has won a top award. Portsmouth City Council’s Energy Services team won the “Vulnerable Customer Support Organisation of the Year” award at the South East Energy Efficiency Awards this week. Switched On Portsmouth, the in-house … Continued

A Portsmouth City Council team that works to save residents money and make their homes as energy efficient as possible has won a top award.

Portsmouth City Council’s Energy Services team won the “Vulnerable Customer Support Organisation of the Year” award at the South East Energy Efficiency Awards this week.

Switched On Portsmouth, the in-house energy saving team was also highly commended in the “Regional Council of the Year” category and commended in the “Regional Large-Scale Project” for Portsmouth International Port’s Solar panel installation project.

The Vulnerable Customer Support award is presented to organisations that are engaged in tackling the issue of Fuel Poverty or support of vulnerable people. Through various schemes, the council leads a consortium of 23 local authorities and has secured over £70 million to provide energy efficiency measures such as insulation, air source heat pumps and solar panels.

This year the Switched On Portsmouth team has used government funding such as Local Authority Delivery and Home Upgrade Grant schemes, to ensure over 3,000 homes have received energy efficiency upgrades and provide a lifetime bill saving of £11 million.

Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet member for Climate Change and Greening the City said:

“It’s great to see the hard work of the energy team being recognised. The team work hard at tackling fuel poverty at a time when the cost of living is a major concern for many households around the city. The council is investing in energy efficiency at every step of the way, from embedding energy efficient technology in newly built or converted council homes, to major projects like installing solar panels at the port. It is through these changes that we can deliver our promise to tackle the climate emergency with everything we do. “

Switched On Portsmouth is a part of the council that is dedicated to supporting vulnerable people with energy saving measures, through a variety of government schemes. You may be eligible for free home visits, small energy saving measures and support with your bills. Find out how the team can help by visiting switchedonportsmouth.co.uk.

Cash
Households on traditional prepayment meters urged to ‘use or lose’ energy bill vouchers

The government is calling on anyone who tops up their energy via a traditional prepayment electricity meter, or PPM, to redeem money-off vouchers before they expire on 30 June. The Energy Bills Support Scheme, which ran between October 2022 and March 2023, enabled households to save £400 off the cost of their energy bills over … Continued

The government is calling on anyone who tops up their energy via a traditional prepayment electricity meter, or PPM, to redeem money-off vouchers before they expire on 30 June.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme, which ran between October 2022 and March 2023, enabled households to save £400 off the cost of their energy bills over the course of the six months. Whilst most households received this discount automatically via their electricity supplier, traditional PPM users were required to redeem monthly vouchers sent to them by their supplier for use at either Post Office or PayPoint top-up points.

Around 83 per cent of vouchers have now been redeemed, however, there is still £130 million left unclaimed and government is therefore calling on anyone with friends or family that use a PPM for electricity to make sure all eligible households benefit.

Claiming a voucher is simple. PPM users should bring their voucher, ID and electricity prepayment key or card to the top up point specified by their electricity supplier. Vouchers can then be redeemed in store immediately.

Previously issued vouchers expire after 90 days but can be reissued before 30 June. If a person thinks that they have missed their vouchers, they should contact their electricity supplier. All vouchers must be used by 30 June.

Please note that there may be longer wait times when contacting your electricity supplier.

For more information, visit gov.uk/helpforhouseholds.

For support with your energy bills, contact Switched On Portsmouth on the freephone 0800 260 5907.

Solar panel
Thousands of homes to receive free energy efficiency upgrades thanks to £41.4 million funding win

Residents across the southeast are set to receive energy efficiency upgrades to improve their homes and save money on energy bills thanks to £41.4 million in funding that has been awarded to a consortium led by Portsmouth City Council. The funding has been received through the Home Upgrade Grant, which is a government scheme to … Continued

Residents across the southeast are set to receive energy efficiency upgrades to improve their homes and save money on energy bills thanks to £41.4 million in funding that has been awarded to a consortium led by Portsmouth City Council.

The funding has been received through the Home Upgrade Grant, which is a government scheme to improve the energy efficiency of vulnerable and low-income homes that do not have gas central heating. This affects around 2,000 homes across Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant and the wider southeast. The council is acting as the lead council of a consortium of 22 local authority partners.

The money will go towards improvements such as insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels and heating controls to save households between £220 and £400 a year on energy bills.

This funding is on top of the £50 million already awarded to the Portsmouth City Council-led consortium, which has supported over 2,700 homes through the Warmer Homes Programme. In total, this has given residents a lifetime bill savings of £11.1 million.

Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment, said:

“This new funding award is a welcome addition to the support we already provide to people in Portsmouth to help them through the current energy and cost of living crisis. I’d urge people to take advantage of the funding to make their homes warmer, greener, and cheaper to run.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said:

“This investment will help thousands of households to heat their homes for less, keep them warm for longer and could save hundreds on their annual energy bill.

“The green energy sector is growing, and this funding will support green jobs and provide the training needed to deliver these vital upgrades to homes.”

The funding will be available from April and will act as a continuation of the support already available via Switched On Portsmouth for the next 2 years.

The funding will support the council to reach its commitment of net zero by 2030 and to support vulnerable and fuel poor homes across the city.

Resident Fred received an air source heat pump through the first round of Home Upgrade Grant funding, and saw his Energy Performance Certificate improve from a score of E to a C. He said:

 

“Since having a heat pump installed, my energy bills have gone down by 50% and the EPC rating of my home has gone from and E to a C.

“One of the things I found incredible about air source heat pumps is that for each unit of electricity you use, you get three units of heat in return. This has seen my energy consumption plummet”.

If you live in a house with no gas central heating, you can apply to benefit from this scheme via Switched On Portsmouth.

For more information the warmer homes programme, click here.

Be the change
World Water Day 2023

Why does saving water matter? It’s no secret that we’re in a climate crisis, and we need to act now to protect the environment as well as save money. Climate change is leading to increasing irregularity in rainfall which gives us dryer summers and wetter winters, leading to more chances of droughts. With population growth, … Continued

Why does saving water matter?

It’s no secret that we’re in a climate crisis, and we need to act now to protect the environment as well as save money.

Climate change is leading to increasing irregularity in rainfall which gives us dryer summers and wetter winters, leading to more chances of droughts. With population growth, increasing demand is taking more water from our natural resources such as rivers, bays and estuaries which is destroying ecosystems and emptying water reservoirs.

Save money by saving water. It takes energy to heat up and store hot water, so by reducing the amount of water you use around the house can save you money on your water and energy bills.

 

How do I save water?

Behaviour change

Making a difference can be hard, but it can start by changing small behaviours that make a big difference.

Making changes can be hard, so why not start small?

  • Switch to shorter showers – aim for 4 minutes. On average, a bath uses 80 litres per use.
  • Turn off taps when you’re not using the water. Running taps can use 9 litres of water a minute, so 3 minutes of teeth cleaning with use 27 litres of water if you leave it running.
  • Fully load appliances before use. On average, the dishwasher uses 10 litres of water, and a washing machine uses 60 litres per cycle.
  • If your appliances have an eco-mode, use it. This lowers the temperature at which things are washed and uses energy and less water.

 

Technology
  • Fit an aerator to your taps and showers. This can reduce the number of litres used without reducing the pressure.
  • Fix any leaking taps and toilets. This can use up to 90 litres of water a day, and rapid streams of drips can waste 32,000 litres a year.
  • Dual flush toilets only use up to 4-6 litres of water per flush compared to a standard toilet that uses 11 litres. If this is not available, you can use a cistern displacement device (link to – https://lowenergysupermarket.com/product/save-a-flush-toilet-cistern-water-saver-device/ ) which can save around 5,000 litres per year.

 

 

Learn more water saving tips – www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk/savewater

 

 

Water meters

Without a water meter, your bills are based on the value of your home. By switching to a water meter, you will only pay for what you use which can reduce your bills – without this, you can’t.

Use this calculator to see if you can reduce your water bills with a water meter – Water Meter Calculator | CCW (ccwater.org.uk)

 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling to pay their bills you can contact the Switched On Portsmouth team for free advice and help. Call the freephone now on 0800 260 5907 or email hello@switchedonportsmouth.co.uk.

Click here to find out more energy saving tips – http://switchedonportsmouth.co.uk/learn/

To take part in World Water Day, find out how you can get involved – https://www.worldwaterday.org/

Writing
Toxic mould scams

Homeowners have been warned about scammers offering toxic mould surveys to households. These scams can involve asking for an “admin fee” which they claim will cost between £50 and £250. Scammers are targeting households by cold calling or by phone or text and offering to carry out works in the home for a fee, claiming … Continued

Homeowners have been warned about scammers offering toxic mould surveys to households. These scams can involve asking for an “admin fee” which they claim will cost between £50 and £250.

Scammers are targeting households by cold calling or by phone or text and offering to carry out works in the home for a fee, claiming they will secure a Government grant after it’s done.

Do not engage with cold calls or offers for mould surveys via text and phone calls. Any homeowners or private tenants should only approach companies if they are fully accredited. You are in your rights to ask any caller to prove their identification.

For any advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

If you have been a victim, or witness to any scam please report this to Action Fraud

If you have damp or mould in any of Portsmouth City Council’s housing, you should report this to repairssupportteam@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call 023 9284 1311.

For more information on grants and free energy-efficient measures contact the Switched On Portsmouth team by emailing hello@switchedonportsmouth.co.uk or calling the freephone on 0800 260 5907.

How do you know you can trust us?

Switched On Portsmouth are part of Portsmouth City Council, and you will never be asked for an upfront cost or bank details of any kind. We are a service that offers free measures to households that need support.

 

 

Energy Saving Week 2023

Tuesday 17th January marked the first day of Energy Saving Week 2023. Let’s talk about how to save money during the rising cost of living, and any support you may be eligible for. Why save energy? We all want to save money where we can, and small actions can help us to reduce the annual … Continued

Tuesday 17th January marked the first day of Energy Saving Week 2023. Let’s talk about how to save money during the rising cost of living, and any support you may be eligible for.

Why save energy?

We all want to save money where we can, and small actions can help us to reduce the annual bill. But these behaviour changes also make a difference to our environment and reduce the carbon production. We can all work together to make changes in the house, that will make a change to the city.

 

Keeping warm

During the cold months, you may be tempted to turn your heating all the way up but worried about the cost of your energy bills. Here are some simple steps to help you keep your warmth up, and bills down:

  • turning your thermostat down by one degree could cut your bill by 10%
  • programme your hot water and heater to come on only when you need it, not all the time
  • keep your water warm by insulating your hot water pipes
  • put reflective foil behind radiators on outside walls

 

Lights and home appliances

The easiest way to save some money on your energy bill is to simply switch off any lights when you are leaving a room. By keeping lights off in rooms that are not being used, you can save up to £25 a year.

You can switch your standard light bulbs to an LED lightbulb, these use a quarter of the energy and can last ten times longer.

Read here for more energy and water saving advice.

 

Energy bill support

If you are a Portsmouth resident, you may be eligible for help with your energy bills. Switched On Portsmouth offer a variety of energy saving measures that can be installed for free (subject to availability and eligibility). Talk to our team today to discuss how we could help you:

Email at hello@switchedonportsmouth.co.uk

Phone the freephone at 0800 260 5907

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

Friday 2nd December marks Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. Fuel poverty can occur when a household has a low income and is unable to heat their house and with the current cost-of-living crisis, many households may struggle this year. Cold winters and lack of sufficient heating can lead to severe health issues in elderly and vulnerable. … Continued

Friday 2nd December marks Fuel Poverty Awareness Day.

Fuel poverty can occur when a household has a low income and is unable to heat their house and with the current cost-of-living crisis, many households may struggle this year.

Cold winters and lack of sufficient heating can lead to severe health issues in elderly and vulnerable. This can include increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, asthma and respiratory diseases and increased hospital admissions.

Illness can also affect families and children. This may result in children missing days of school, or parents unable to work as much.

Switched On Portsmouth offer numerous schemes and offers to help household in Portsmouth heat and energise your homes. This includes homeowners, private renting as well as people on means tested benefits.

These schemes include:

  • free home energy advice visit
  • free large energy efficiency upgrades
  • our freephone advice line

You can find out whether you’re eligible on our website at switchedonportsmouth.co.uk or call our freephone today on 0800 260 5907.

To help those who may find it difficult this year, the Switched on Portsmouth team will be at Portsmouth Foodbank on Friday 2nd December at 11am to help with Warming up Winter. For anyone who needs support, this session is open to everyone for tips and information on the schemes available.