Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service (CHESS)

Discover how we are helping people stay warm in their homes and save on energy costs.

About the project - Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service (CHESS)

Funder

Funding for Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service (CHESS) is provided by the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme via the Energy Saving Trust.

Why is this needed?

Fuel poverty causes misery, ill health and premature deaths in millions of households across the UK. A household is in fuel poverty if they cannot afford to adequately heat their home. As a result, someone in fuel poverty will likely be cold, ill and making difficult decisions whether to heat their home or eat.

Poverty in Cambridgeshire has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the year to 31-Mar-2021, some areas saw an 86% increase in benefits claimants. Services were disrupted and consequently, people who had never had a claiming footprint had to deal with life-changing circumstances, such as furlough or redundancy.

Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service (CHESS) is vital to help address both the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19, for example supporting with unpaid energy bills (debt) and rising poverty levels, as well as providing households with the information and resources needed to stay warm and healthy, whilst cutting costs and carbon.

What are we doing?

We are working in partnership with PECT (Peterborough Environment City Trust), an independent charity dedicated to creating more sustainable places to deliver the Cambridgeshire Home Energy Support Service, over two years from October 2020 – September 2022. The project delivery area includes the Districts of East Cambridgeshire, Fenland and Huntingdonshire.

We train and help frontline workers and volunteers to identify and support households in, or at risk of, fuel poverty.

Experienced Energy Advisors: 

How can you get involved?

If you, or someone you know, is living in, or at risk of, fuel poverty then please ask for help by calling 0800 8021773 (this is a freephone number). Alternatively, you can go online and make a referral to PECT

If you would like to volunteer your services to spread the word about this project, either as a community volunteer or if your paid roles brings you into contact with people in fuel poverty then please call Lisa Chambers, Community Development Officer, on 01353 865048.

What impact has our work had?

As a result of our work to date, we have:

Updates

Watch a video about the CHESS project and hear from our volunteers and frontline workers as they talk about the difference the project is making to the people they come into contact with.

Play Video

Useful links

Who can I talk to about this work?