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WHAM Update! March 2020

WHAM: Helping older people who are struggling with their fuel bills

At a very busy partners meeting last week, we heard about the amazing achievements of the project so far.

This Warmer Homes Advice and Money (WHAM) project is a partnership project that covers Bristol & North Somerset helping to reduce financial, food and fuel poverty.

BEN’s role is to provide workshops and outreach activities and training for Energy Champions to support the project. So far we have published an article about Energy Champions and a WHAM advert in Vocalise (Ashley ward), Up Our Street (Easton & Lawrence Hill), The Mead (Southmead) and On Your Doorstep (Lawrence Weston) giving a combined reach of nearly 40,000 households. We are working with delivery partners re:work ltd and developing new relationships across the city to identify new delivery partners to support local Energy Champions.

Since July, we have attended 10 events, engaging with 409 people to give out energy advice and support. We have also run 5 training events for Energy Champions and met 6 different partners who want to get involved, including The Somali Youth Voice, Team Southmead and The Network.

At the meeting we heard about some amazing case studies that the WHAM project has been helping:

Before Christmas, WHAM received a referral from the Council. A gentleman was living in a poor quality 4 bed house. It was full of stuff, rat infested and the back windows were broken as well as the gas room heaters. AMS (one the the WHAM project partners) came in to do lots of minor repairs, they boarded up all the broken windows and sealed the leaky air vents, repaired his phone, replaced lots of broken light switches, and draught-proofed the front door. WHAM paid for an Energy Performance Certificate, which identified the next steps, including loft insulation and central heating. The gentleman had over £700 credit in his TalkTalk account which WHAM helped him reclaim and he is planning on spending this on new windows. WHAM also helped him contact the water board who fixed a leak and installed a water meter, which is saving him £490 a year. He has also saved around £160 by replacing all bulbs with LEDs. WHAM also referred him to Citizens’ Advice for change in benefits and applying for new energy efficient appliances and have referred him for fire safety visit.

Overall the project has 394 client details on the database since July 2019 and a further 538 clients have been supported through targeted events. A total of 1329 clients have been supported by all of the WHAM funded projects since July 2019.

353 of these clients have been directly supported under the Warm Homes Fund (WHF) and £22,582 made in savings or money claimed for the WHF clients, and £81,823 has been saved or gained for clients supported under the other WHAM funds. Total savings since July 2019, a whopping £104,405!

Phew!

If you are interested in helping to spread the word as a delivery partner (organisations) or an Energy Champion (individuals), please contact coordinator@bristolenergynetwork.org or check out our Energy Champions page.