New support for Barnet households living in fuel poverty

A three year programme will bring energy advice to those living in fuel poverty

An older person and a young person on a sofa look at a tablet computer

A new programme to support those living in fuel poverty has launched in Barnet.

Stay Warm, Stay Well is a three-year programme investing £6million and support 14,500 households living in fuel poverty across England by offering tailored energy advice, carried out by Groundwork’s Green Doctors.

‘Stay Warm, Stay Well’ will provide much needed help for thousands of households who are struggling with their energy bills, with Groundwork Green Doctors – energy efficiency advisors – visiting homes and offering practical guidance on energy saving, behaviour change tips and referrals to other local support services, including debt advice and food banks. Over the course of the three-year programme, over 14,500 consultations will take place in regions across England, with a particular focus on vulnerable households.

The programme is a partnership between Groundwork, a federation of charities with a collective mission to take practical action to create a fair and green future in which

people, places and nature thrive and the Cadent Foundation set up by the Cadent, the UK’s biggest gas distribution network.

Stay Warm, Stay Well comes at a time when immediate support for households during the cost of living and continued energy crisis remains vital. Insight from a recent Groundwork survey, found that 94 per cent of Green Doctors reported supporting households that did not use their central heating at all, with 85 per cent saying they had worked with people cutting back on food or only eating cold meals.

One Green Doctor commented: “We’re seeing people choosing between which bills to pay and whether to eat meals, and many don’t even consider putting on the heating. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating. The energy crisis is far from over – there are so many people and families in urgent need of help.”

Those needing advice can access the referral form on Groundwork’s website:

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s UK Chief Executive, said: “This new funding from the Cadent Foundation couldn’t be coming at a more important time. Feedback from our Green Doctors is that they’re visiting an increasing number of people who are taking drastic measures to make ends meet – from skipping meals to living in permanently cold, damp homes – with many falling into debt. We’re also seeing more working people who are ineligible for government support but who still need advice on how to reduce their bills. We’re delighted that the Cadent Foundation is able to provide strategic, multi-year support for our Green Doctors, which will help us expand our service to more people and ensure we have a workforce able to meet growing demand.”

Julia Dwyer, Director of the Cadent Foundation, said: “The impact from our initial partnership which began in 2020, has been incredible to witness, particularly as the work of energy advisors has been vital throughout the cost-of-living crisis. We’ve learnt a lot throughout the first phase, which supported more than 10,000 households, but being able to fund the training of local people, to advise and guide their own communities on energy efficiency and money management, is really powerful. We truly believe that a solid knowledge of how to optimise the energy efficiency of a home, is the key to alleviating fuel poverty in the long-term and the next stage in our partnership will allow us to expand the programme even further, increasing our involvement and doubling the amount of funding to help even more families.”

In addition to the new programme, Groundwork has developed a new section of its website, Get Energy Help, to offer clear, simple advice on different ways to save energy, stay warm and reduce bills, including resources on minimising heat loss or understanding meters.

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