Households are classed as being in fuel poverty when they do not have the means to adequately heat their homes. It’s 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 including:
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 to make their energy bills more affordable is through our free and impartial energy tariff switching service.
We understand that different people have different priorities and that the cheapest price isn’t always what people want.
Whether you pay for your bills with a Top-Up meter, upon receipt of your bills or by monthly Direct Debit, our experienced team of advisers can quickly identify the best energy tariff to meet your needs.
This could include:
The Warm Home Discount is a credit payment of £140 that is given to eligible customers to make heating their home more affordable over winter.
To be eligible, customers need to be in receipt of a means tested benefit such as Universal Credit. There must also be someone living in the home who is considered to be vulnerable, e.g. young children and anyone who suffers from a disability.
If you are with an energy supplier who offers the Warm Home Discount, then BHESCo can help you apply. All you’ll need is your account number.
In winter 2019/ 2020, 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.
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.