With the current energy crisis and the fuel price cap being raised, it’s now more important than ever that households are supported with their energy usage and bills.
Cambridgeshire ACRE is supporting rural households through its Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service (CHESS) project, which is being delivered in collaboration with PECT, across Fenland, East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. PECT offers households struggling with their energy bills free one to one energy advice over the telephone or during a home visit. Cambridgeshire ACRE offers fuel debt relief to those who have large fuel debts that they are unable to pay off themselves.
As an example of how the project works, CHESS recently helped support an individual who lives in a flat owned by a housing association and was struggling with debts and mental health issues.
“When they were referred to us, they had been suffering from mental health issues, and this was making it difficult for them to manage everything alone. We identified that they had a large debt with their energy supplier, as well as a few other debts. There were also several issues with her flat, which were contributing to her mental wellbeing, such as a lack of a cooker,” explains Karen Igho, Health and Wellbeing Lead at PECT.
“In response to this, we talked to her energy supplier to discuss a payment plan and to change her energy to a cheaper tariff. After gaining consent we also referred her to Citizens Advice for help with the rest of her energy arrears, as well as her other debts, and for general financial guidance. In addition, PECT were also able to get her a new cooker through the CLAS grant and two foodbank parcels whilst we were assisting her.”
CHESS provides services around Warm Home Discount, Priority Service Register and supplier switching. The project is funded by Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme and runs until September 2022. For more information, please visit www.energyredress.org.uk.
If you would like to find out more about the free service and discuss your situation, you can call PECT on 01733 568408, freephone on 0800 8021773, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pect.org.uk/warmhomes. To receive support, you must meet eligibility criteria.