Nottingham City Council and partners will be providing advice on how local people can make energy savings as part of Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Friday 17 February.
Over 12% of Nottingham’s households are classed as being in fuel poverty, with the City Council and local partners working hard to tackle this. The nationwide day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the heating and insulation problems faced by low-income households and options available to address them.
Recent Government statistics show that Nottingham is making headway when it comes to tackling the city’s cold and hard-to-heat homes. Out of all the core cities – the largest cities in the UK outside London – Nottingham has had the second highest reduction in homes classed as in fuel poverty with only Birmingham having a better performance with a 6% reduction compared to Nottingham’s 5.8%.
Much of this reduction has been due to the large cross-city energy efficiency scheme – Greener HousiNG – that the City Council has delivered with Nottingham City Homes and Nottingham Energy Partnership. To fund these schemes, Nottingham City Council secured one of the highest shares of Government funding of all UK councils. Over 2,500 private homes and 4,200 social houses have been insulated in the city, as well as fitting solar panels to provide free electricity to 4,000 NCH tenants.
Robin Hood Energy was also set up by the City Council in 2015 to tackle fuel poverty. As a not-for-profit company it can provide low-cost energy and a special tariff is available to anyone living within the Nottingham city boundary.
In the lead up to Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, energy specialists from Robin Hood Energy and Nottingham Energy Partnership will be running drop sessions at service centres across Nottingham. On 13 and 20 February they will be joined by Nottingham City Signposting Service, a multi-agency partnership with a single point of contact for those aged 60+, who are particularly at risk of fuel poverty, to access the support that they need.
- Monday 13 February – St Ann’s Valley Centre foyer 10am – 12pm
- Wednesday 15 February – Clifton Cornerstone foyer 10am – 12pm
- Thursday 16 February – Mary Potter Centre foyer 10am – 12pm
- Monday 20 February – Bulwell Riverside foyer 10am – 12pm.
They will be on hand to give one-to-one advice on how to cut household energy bills, from checking that households are in receipt of all the benefits they are entitled to, to quick wins around the home to save energy.
Nottingham residents who are concerned about energy bills can always contact Nottingham Energy Partnership for expert impartial advice from how to save energy in the home to help accessing grants and loans for energy efficiency improvements. Over 60s and families may be eligible for their Nottinghamshire Healthy Housing Service which can help with boiler replacement and servicing and insulation measures.
Contact Nottingham Energy Partnership on 0115 985 9057 www.nottenergy.com
The City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, Councillor Alan Clark, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to bring in so much extra funding to the city to tackle fuel poverty. As well as setting up the UK’s first council-run not-for-profit energy company, Robin Hood Energy, we have a proven track record in delivering large energy efficiency programmes and we are well set to capitalise on future funding opportunities.
“Unfortunately at the moment no further funding has been announced, and we are engaging with the Government to ensure that Nottingham’s needs are known. National campaigns such as this are really helpful as they highlight the scale of the problem in the UK.”
Nottingham City Homes chief executive Nick Murphy said: “Tackling fuel poverty is a huge priority for us; we are committed to ensuring that our tenants can afford to heat their homes well every winter. To meet this commitment we have an ongoing investment programme to bring our properties up to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) level C by 2018.”
New research by National Energy Action shows that energy efficiency problems such as damp and unhealthily low temperatures are more prevalent in privately rented homes such as shared properties, bedsits and hostels. In a recent national survey over two thirds said residents cannot afford to heat their room or shared space adequately. A similar number said the worst rental properties have such inadequate heating and insulation that it is impossible to keep them warm and free from damp.
Portfolio holder for Housing and Planning, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said: “Nottingham has proven to be extremely proactive in offering practical and advisory support to help residents secure energy efficiency improvements to their homes and educating people to become more savvy when it comes to affordable warmth.
“The private rented sector can be difficult to engage with but we’re hoping to drive up standards through our proposed Selective Licensing scheme which is currently out to consultation until March. This would require all private sector landlords operating in the city to demonstrate that their properties meet acceptable property standards including the prevention of excess cold.”