Key facts

  • Location

    Bristol

  • Parner

    Centre for Sustainable Energy

  • Timeline

    March 2016 - March 2017

Partners

Centre for Sustainable Energy

Pre-Payment Meter Money Matters

CSE  – a national charity based in Bristol since 1979. CSE has two main goals: tackling the threat caused by climate change and ending fuel poverty.

The Ebico Trust funded project provides a systematic single-point-of-contact referral service around fuel poverty, and to focuses their support on pay-as-you-go customers, a group who are generally amongst the poorest, who often have the most complex needs around affordable warmth, and frequently pay more for their fuel than others.

A single point-of-contact and referral service ensures all the underlying issues causing fuel poverty are tackled: debt, housing, benefits, fuel debt, and lack of energy awareness and efficiency. This is particularly needed for complex cases, where the project can address all the issues rather than focus only on one problem in isolation.

The project will achieve the following:

  • Low-income households on pay-as-you-go meters in Bristol will maximise their income through obtaining additional entitlements or grants, benefit reviews, and applications.
  • Low-income households on pay-as-you-go meters in Bristol will reduce their energy expenditure by switching to more affordable fuel tariff options and eligible client registered for the Warm Home Discount.
  • The clients will be supported to access a range of energy efficiency measures (new heating systems, loft and cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing) as well as the repairs, loft clearance etc. to ensure this can happen.
  • The clients will able to better manage their finances, including how to draw up a monthly budget, manage Universal Credit payments and fuel costs, and better understand energy bills, bank accounts, standing orders/direct debits. Clients will work with an adviser to identify probable individual savings if they move from a PPM. Individual plans will be drawn up identifying each action needed to effect the change, likely timescales and actions needed, e.g. clear fuel debt, switch supplier, ask to change meter. We will also provide support to help set up bank/credit union accounts, finding funds for deposit/meter change costs, and advocacy with suppliers. In our experience, some PPM tenants continue paying previous tenant’s energy debt, requiring expert intervention with the energy supplier and housing provider.

You can find the first project report here.

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