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IMA conference. Marie Spiers Combating fuel Poverty

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IMA conference. Marie Spiers Combating fuel Poverty

  1. 1. WELCOME
  2. 2. Combating Fuel Poverty Marie Spiers Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau
  3. 3. Content of session <ul><li>What is Fuel Poverty? </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel debt & disconnection </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Energy efficiency </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Fuel Poverty? <ul><li>Fuel poverty is defined as needing to spend more than 10% of household income on energy in order to achieve a healthily warm home </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is a healthy environment? <ul><li>18-24  C in the main living area (with a minimum of 21  C for vulnerable groups) </li></ul><ul><li>18  C for all other occupied rooms </li></ul><ul><li>16  C for unoccupied rooms </li></ul>
  6. 6. Fuel Poverty by household Source: National Energy Action
  7. 7. Causes of Fuel Poverty
  8. 8. Impact of Fuel Poverty Households that are living in, or at risk of fuel poverty, risk mental and physical ill health as a result of cold, damp living conditions Source: Consumer Focus
  9. 9. Impact of FP - self disconnection Of the 8.8 million pre-payment meter customers in Great Britain, up to 1.4 million of these disconnect themselves from their supply at least once a year Source: Consumer Focus
  10. 10. Impact of FP - vulnerable clients Of the four million households currently living in fuel poverty in the UK, up to 3 million are classed as ‘vulnerable’ Source: Consumer Focus
  11. 11. Help for vulnerable clients <ul><li>Priority Services Register (PSR) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eligibility: pensionable age, or disability, or chronic illness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to set up </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Priority Services Register Password protection scheme Moving prepayment meters Meter reading Bill nominee scheme Special help if a gas supply is interrupted Gas safety check Advance notice if an electricity supply has to be interrupted Services for consumers with visual or hearing impairments
  13. 13. Dealing with fuel debt <ul><li>Contact the supplier </li></ul><ul><li>Pay current consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Agree best method of payment </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to pay/realistic offer </li></ul>
  14. 14. Disconnection <ul><li>Can it be prevented? </li></ul><ul><li>No vulnerable clients disconnected </li></ul><ul><li>Prepayment meter installed as alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Disconnection fact sheets available </li></ul>
  15. 15. Financial assistance Social tariffs Warm Home Discount
  16. 16. Financial assistance – social tariffs <ul><li>Cheapest/discounted tariff </li></ul><ul><li>Different qualifying criteria for each supplier </li></ul><ul><li>Updates are available on the Consumer Focus website www. consumerfocus .org.uk </li></ul>
  17. 17. Financial assistance – WHD Year Who ’ s eligible Annual Discount Number of customers helped 2011/2012 Households in receipt of guarantee element of Pension Credit £ 120 807,000 2012/2013 PC Guarantee and over 80 ’ s and in receipt of savings element of pension credit £ 130 1,097,000 2013/2014 PC guarantee and over 75 ’ s and in receipt of guarantee and savings element of pension credit £ 135 1,179,000 2014/2015 All households in receipt of guarantee and savings element of pension credit £ 140 1,355,000
  18. 18. Financial assistance - WHD <ul><li>Warm Home Discount </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Core group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Broader group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legacy spend </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Industry initatives </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Financial assistance – Trust Funds <ul><ul><ul><li>Online application </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial statement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Client circumstances </li></ul></ul></ul>http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/get-advice/energy/help-finder
  20. 20. Schemes to combat fuel poverty <ul><li>Reopened from 14 th April 11 </li></ul><ul><li>New qualifying criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Receive means-tested benefit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vulnerable: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Over 60 or with child under 5 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some form of disability </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AND occupy private sector house with an energy efficiency rating of SAP 55 or below </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Schemes to combat fuel poverty <ul><li>Feed in Tariffs </li></ul><ul><li>Community Energy Saving Programme </li></ul><ul><li>Home Heat Helpline: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>0800 33 66 99 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Energy efficiency - Insulation
  23. 23. Energy efficiency – Insulation <ul><li>Home will be warmer in winter </li></ul><ul><li>Make savings on heating bills </li></ul><ul><li>May reduce noise from outside and increase resistance to fire </li></ul><ul><li>It’s very cost effective </li></ul>
  24. 24. Energy Efficiency – smart meters End to estimated bills Accurate real-time information on energy use in the home Two-way communication New tariffs will be available that measure consumption over time periods Capability to sell energy back to the supplier
  25. 25. Energy Efficiency - energy saving tips
  26. 26. Energy Efficiency – energy savings tips Loft and cavity wall insulation Turn off the lights Use energy saving light bulbs Take a shower instead of a bath Don’t leave appliances on standby Turn thermostat down Tuck curtains behind the radiators Only use the amount of water needed in the kettle Monitor gas and electricity consumption
  27. 27. Energy Efficiency – energy savings tips Turn radiators down lower in unoccupied rooms Try to do a full load of washing Draught proof windows/ doors Only charge mobile phones for recommended time Don’t leave fridge/freezer doors open Defrost fridge/freezer regularly Insulate the water tank by using a jacket Use a toaster rather than a grill to make toast Use correct size pan on the hob & use a lid
  28. 28. Some facts… Over half of the people who are living in fuel poverty are over the age of 60 Over 34,000 extra deaths occur during winter in the UK An average household would save £230 per annum if they had loft and cavity wall insulation The average fuel bill is £1300 per annum
  29. 29. Combating fuel poverty <ul><li>Support for vulnerable clients </li></ul><ul><li>Deal with debt & prevent disconnection </li></ul><ul><li>The right payment method </li></ul><ul><li>Financial assistance & fuel poverty schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Energy saving to save money </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Any questions or information to share? </li></ul>
  31. 31. Free training/information packs available: Marie Spiers [email_address] T: 01752 676090 M: 07792 255806