01 July 2013

A pioneering scheme devised by Northamptonshire County Council and designed to help people with their fuel bills has won a national award.

What was the award for?

The Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service scooped the Green Apple Environment Award in the national campaign to find Britain’s greenest companies, councils and communities.

The scheme competed against more than 200 other nominations in the category for the built environment and architectural heritage.

The advice service is targeted at vulnerable people and gives guidance on how to stay warm, boost energy efficiency and secure grants and loans to carry out work.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet for transport, highways and environment, said: “Energy efficiency and sustainable ways of keeping warm in winter are extremely important from an environmental point of view.

“However these measures also make sense from an economic perspective because with increasing fuel costs it is becoming more and more expensive to heat our homes.

“We now have more innovative ways of insulating our homes than ever before and by taking a few simple measures there can be a significant impact on fuel bills.

“However, many people find this information difficult to access and this is where this new initiative steps in.”

The advice service was made possible after Northamptonshire County Council secured £255,000 funding from the Department of Health following a successful pilot project delivered by Northampton Borough Council last year.

Expansion of the scheme

The expansion of the scheme this year will be a partnership between the county council, borough and district councils, Age UK, Groundwork and advice-providing charity Community Law Service.

The project aims to reduce the number of deaths and ill health due to cold housing, with particular attention to the most vulnerable.

It will be delivered through a number of dedicated events around the county including workshops, community events, as well as distributing information packs on energy saving and working with people on an individual basis.

For information about the drop-ins visit www.communitylawservice.org.uk or contact energyadvice@communitylawservice.org.uk or call 01604 623708.

For more information about how to save energy and reduce you fuel bills visit www.northantswarmhomes.com