Energy Advice service launches
We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in acquiring external funding to deliver Energy Advice to our customers. This external funding will enable us to deliver this service for two years with two new Energy Advisors, who will sit within the Money Matters team. This funding has come from Energy Redress (visit https://energyredress.org.uk/about-us for more information).
Here Kerry and Adam from our Money Matters Team tell us more about the roles and this vital service which launches this month.
Kerry Coe, Energy Advisor tells us about her new role
“I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to continue working for the Trust as an Energy Advisor. I started at the Trust in 2019 as the Income Management Coordinator and since then I have moved to Money Matters Coordinator and now Energy Advisor. I feel very lucky and grateful to work for an organisation that encourages personal and professional growth, and it is because of this that I have been able to progress my career.
Since starting the role in November, I have been working on various parts of the project, putting in place new process and guidance ready for the roll out in January. This role is well placed in the Money Matters Team to support our customers to become financially independent, financially resilient and overcome fuel poverty by supporting them to address their energy bills and tariffs, maximise their incomes and provide advice for energy saving around the home.”
Adam Shufflebotham Money Matters Team Leader tells us more
“This new project is part of Weaver Vale Housing Trust’s long term Environmental Action Plan which outline’s the Trust’s approach to being a carbon neutral organisation by 2050 and seeks to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty throughout our communities.
“The aims of the project include utilising our extensive customer data to support the Trust’s customers in tackling fuel poverty. These customers will include those on low incomes, those with illness or disabilities who require more energy to heat their home, those who don’t feel confident to represent their interests in the energy market and those customers struggling to make ends meet. From our extensive experience of engaging with customers, these are likely to be households who will suffer substantial detriment by and be negatively impacted in the energy market. Importantly, we will look to holistically address the root cause of fuel poverty and deliver long term solutions through referrals to in-house and external support teams delivering money advice, employment support and health and wellbeing support.
“We will also look to build on relationships with community groups in our neighbourhoods and train volunteers to educate and build awareness and confidence within their communities, sustaining fuel poverty awareness and support after the completion of this project
“The project aims to deliver a free and impartial energy advice service to customers of Weaver Vale Housing Trust to reduce money spent on energy bills. The advice will range from switching tariffs to resolving complex cases with the ombudsman. Increase the confidence of our customers when it comes to switching tariffs and engaging with energy providers to help them become more resilient and encourage behavioural change. We will support the most vulnerable customers with immediate need in the paying of energy bills and Identify opportunities to increase income through benefit maximisation. This will improve confidence, mental health and wellbeing among those customers supported. It will also improve physical health by enabling customers to adequately heat their homes.
“We look forward to further supporting our customers through these external funds and starting to make more real, tangible differences. Initially, referrals we be gathered from our Income Management Team who are talking to those customers most in need and who have financial difficulties.”
For more information visit www.wvht.co.uk/energy-help-advice