The Cornish charity leading the fight against fuel poverty in Cornwall is encouraging front line service providers working with individuals at greatest risk of fuel poverty to take action now to stop unnecessary deaths caused by cold weather and reduce fuel debt amongst the most vulnerable groups in our community.
Community Energy Plus has launched a programme of workshops to equip health and social care providers and voluntary sector organisations with essential training to help the individuals that they support to stay warm, well and save money on their energy bills.
The cold weather combined with low income levels, rising energy costs and the inability for just under half of households in Cornwall to access the mains gas network means that we have the highest rate of fuel poverty in the South West, with almost one in five households spending more than 10 per cent of their income on heating their homes.
While the spiralling prices for heating oil and recent suspension of Warm Front heating grant scheme are a major cause for concern for the agencies supporting individuals at risk of fuel poverty, Community Energy Plus is keen to highlight the role that support agencies can play in fighting fuel poverty.
Alec Rice, Fuel Poverty Projects Manager at Community Energy Plus, who is leading the training programme said: “Care professionals and community volunteers are in a unique position to identify households that are in, or may be at risk of, fuel poverty. By providing practical help to their clients to access social tariffs and priority service registers and by sharing simple but effective advice on saving energy they can make a real difference.”