Energy Advice Project

This project aims to help people in the Maryhill and Kelvin Canal area reduce and eventually eradicate fuel poverty and fuel debt. Funded by Citizens’ Advice Scotland, the project employs one specialist adviser for 10 hours a week and targets in people with low incomes, those of pensionable age, people with disabilities or ill health, and families with young children.

A person is in fuel poverty if they need to spend more than 10% of their household income on fuel to heat their homes satisfactorily. This is more likely to occur in lower income households as the cost of heating the home forms a greater proportion of the income. There is a higher than average number of households in Maryhill and Kelvin Canal with a low income, meaning that the community is likely to be disproportionately affected by fuel poverty. This is concerning because living in a poorly heated home can lead to or worsen health conditions such as asthma. Our Energy Advice Project was developed in response to the large and increasing number of our clients who have sought Bureau advice for fuel poverty issues in the last few years.

The project aims to assist 5000 people in our area who are living in fuel poverty or fuel debt. This is partly through individual advice sessions in our Avenuepark Street Bureau, and partly through public seminars and talks in the wider community. Through these sessions we help clients to maximise their income by ensuring that they are receiving their full benefit entitlement, and ensure that clients use the cheapest energy tariff available to them. This alleviates fuel poverty by decreasing the proportion of income required to heat the home.

We also provide bespoke advice for clients who have fallen into debt with their energy supplier, provide budgeting advice, and refer clients to other organisations who can help to maximise the energy efficiency of the home.

For a little insight into the Energy Advice Project, read the article by our Energy Adviser Karen in the Yorkhill Housing Association ltd News (Winter 2016).  (Pages 4 and 5)