Households are classed as being in fuel poverty when they do not have the means to adequately heat their homes. It is a significant problem as cold homes are widely recognised as a major risk to people’s mental and physical health. In 2015, Age UK estimated that fuel poverty cost the NHS around £1.3 billion every year.
In Brighton and Hove, there are estimated to be almost 15,000 households who cannot afford to adequately heat their home over the winter months. In the three years from winter 2010/2011 to 2012/2013 this resulted in approximately 373 excess winter deaths.
BHESCo is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their income or personal situation, should have access to energy saving initiatives and actions that improve both comfort and well-being. We work with people who are experiencing fuel poverty in a number of ways such as:
Around 70% of all UK households are paying too much for their energy bills. One of the quickest and simplest ways that BHESCo can help people in fuel poverty is through our free and impartial energy tariff switching service.
We work with people to find the tariff that best meets their personal needs. We can advise on which suppliers have the best and worst customer service, and which are offering smart meters, paperless billing, or 100% green energy.
For the fifth straight year BHESCo has secured funding to be a Local Energy Champion as part of the Big Energy Saving Network – a programme jointly financed by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the national charity, National Energy Action.
This money will enable us to visit food banks and community centres across Brighton and Hove to help people find the cheapest energy deals, apply for any financial support to which they may be eligible, and to achieve other valuable energy-related outcomes.
If you are a member of a local group or organisation who may be interested in a visit from one of BHESCo’s energy advisers then please get in touch and let us know.
In winter 2018/2019, BHESCo hit the ground running and were able to achieve greater gains for local residents than ever before.
Building on partnerships and relationships developed over previous years, we successfully delivered talks, workshops, and one-to-one advice sessions at over fifty different locations around the city, varying from food banks and community centres to older people’s lunch clubs and cooking classes.
Between October 2018 and March 2019 our energy advisors were able to speak to 520 local residents, helping to save an combined £35,026 on their energy bills.
BHESCo has partnered with Brighton and Hove City Council and the Interreg 2 Seas programme on a project to distribute 300 energy saving goodie bags to low income and vulnerable households in our local area.
The goodie bags contain a variety of items which help residents reduce energy consumption in their household and BHESCo will demonstrate how to install the items and how to get the best results from them.
Through a partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council, BHESCo offers free energy improvement surveys to people on a low income or who have a family member who is vulnerable to the cold.
Each survey identifies where heat is being lost and suggests the most cost-effective ways to fix it. A follow up visit is then completed to install the appropriate energy saving measures.
Since the the service was launched in 2016, BHESCo’s Energy Saving Service has visited over 700 properties
In 2019, Dan Curtis, who is one of the leads in delivering BHESCo’s fuel poverty alleviation programme, was recognised for all his hard work. He was named a ‘Heat Hero’ by the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action and received his award at a ceremony held in the Houses of Parliament.