Title: Homes4Health free energy service advice in response to Covid-19
Are you struggling with your energy bills or know someone who is? Are you worried about using more gas and electricity while staying at home during the Coronavirus emergency? Would you like to be referred for a free home energy telephone consultation?
The Council’s Homes4Health fuel poverty programme provides free home energy support and advice to residents in Kensington and Chelsea to help them keep warm and stay comfortable in their homes affordably, make their home energy efficient, save money on their energy bills and improve their health.
With more people at home due to COVID-19, and many people losing their jobs, energy bills might be harder to manage. In response to the Coronavirus epidemic, the Council is working with the community charity Groundwork to provide FREE telephone consultations to support residents to get on top of energy debt, switch provider, access grant and other support and manage their energy use in the home.
The telephone consultation is carried out by independent trained energy advisors called Green Doctors who are part of Groundwork’s team.
This is available for FREE for all RBKC households if they meet the following criteria:
Ø If they are over 65, or
Ø Are on a low income, or
Ø Have a long term health condition or disability.
What is included in the telephone consultation
The call will last around 45 minutes to an hour, during which time the Green Doctor will ask residents a series of questions to give them tailored advice, and will try to answer any of your energy-related questions:
Ø Advice on reading energy bills and signing up for cheaper tariffs and on-the-phone support to change tariff if needed
Ø Advice on behaviour changes to deal with damp and mould
Ø Energy-saving behaviour in the home, what residents can do and what will save the most money
Ø Helping residents deal with energy and water debt and apply for grants
Ø Helping residents get their meter topped up during the restrictions
Ø Signing residents up for the Warm Homes Discount (£140 off their bills)
Ø Signing residents up for the Priority Services Register if they are vulnerable, so they get extra support and help first during a power cut.
The consultation will help residents get on top of their home energy use, to ensure they only use energy when needed and don't waste energy needlessly. It will also help them find financial support and reduced costs for their energy where possible.
This will help save residents money and reduce the mental stress of bills at an already stressful time. It will also help residents keep their home comfortable which will may mean an improvement on health conditions which are exacerbated by the cold and damp.
Ongoing vulnerable residents will be supported more by their energy company and network if they are signed up for the Priority Services Register and they will also be empowered with the knowledge needed to manage their energy use and bills. An additional benefit is that better-managed home energy use has a lower environmental impact and will help keep the households' carbon emissions lower.
Groundwork can provide appointments with sign language interpretation (via video call) and language interpretation as well for non-English speakers.
How to book a telephone consultation/make a referral?
To book a free telephone consultation with one of the Green Doctors, either phone Groundwork’s freephone number 0300 365 3005 or fill in their form online: https://groundwork.secure.force.com/enquiry/.
For any other information please contact: GreenDoctorsLDN@groundwork.org.uk.
Events & Training available for frontline staff:
Groundwork London is now hosting regular, free online training sessions where you can find out more about the Green Doctors service and the support available for residents.
The webinar will cover:
Ø How the free telephone consultations work.
Ø Who could benefit from the service.
Ø How to refer individuals.
Next dates available:
Ø Wednesday 6th of May 2020 from 11am to 12pm.
Ø Friday 14th of May 2020 from 11am to 12pm.
Ø Wednesday 20th of May 2020 from 11am to 12pm.
You can sign-up for this free training here - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-help-people-struggling-with-their-energy-bills-during-covid-19-tickets-103211548520.
The webinar will be held on Microsoft Teams; you do not need to download any application. The link will be sent to you in the confirmation email. For more information visit: https://greendoctors-london.org