Recognition for local fuel poverty fighters

Groundwork South celebrate receiving national award SUS-141003-143520001
Groundwork South celebrate receiving national award SUS-141003-143520001

Groundwork South is celebrating after their project Horsham Warmer Homes to tackle fuel poverty has received a national award.

Groundwork South is one of only nine organisations that was successful in applying for the Community Action Awards, which are run by national fuel poverty charity NEA in partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and British Gas. The awards recognise excellence and innovation in the fields of tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency amongst vulnerable households.

The Horsham Warmer Homes project will reduce fuel poverty across vulnerable groups by giving tailored domestic energy efficiency advice and installing energy saving devices at Green Doctor home visits; it will also refer low-income households to the ECO programme and develop a pool of Community Energy Champions through Carbon Conversations, a series of behaviour change workshops.

Kristin Sjovorr from Groundwork South said: “we are delighted that our work to help disadvantaged residents in Horsham heat their homes affordably has received national recognition. Our Green Doctors regularly meet people who are struggling to meet the high cost of fuel and helping people to stay warm in winter has become a key priority for our work”.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at NEA said: “We know that 290,000 households in the South East are estimated to be living in fuel poverty, unable to afford the energy they need to stay warm and healthy in their homes. Community groups and other local organisations play a vital role in helping to identify and assist those who are struggling to heat their homes affordably and I would like to congratulate Groundwork South for the excellent work they are undertaking to tackle this problem’.

Christine Tate, Head of Corporate Responsibility at British Gas said: “In 2012, British Gas spent over £220 million on help for our elderly, disabled and most in need customers. In addition to this direct support for our customers we are pleased to support National Energy Action’s community energy efficiency awards, especially as energy efficiency is the best way customers can keep their homes warmer for less.”

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey said: “The Community Action Award showcases some excellent examples of how promoting energy efficiency can help to reduce bills and improve the thermal comfort for those who need it most in the community.

“There is a lot of help available from Government, such as removing on average £50 from household energy bills and providing support for the most vulnerable through Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount. But if individuals can take control of their energy use, this will have a major impact on keeping warm and cutting bills.”

Report and picture contributed by NEA.