19 February 2013

Local residents in Northamptonshire struggling to pay their fuel bills will be able to get expert advice on cutting energy costs thanks to a new initiative.

The Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service is targeted at vulnerable people and will give guidance on how to stay warm, boost energy efficiency and secure grants and loans to carry out work.

The advice service has been 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.

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.

Cllr Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for 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 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.

The first energy saving drop-ins will take place on:

  • Thursday, 21 February, 1pm to 3pm at Eastfield Primary School, St Albans Close, Northampton
  • Monday 25 to Friday 1 March at the Community Law Service shop, 32 High Street, Rushden
  • Saturday, 2 March at the Environmental Expo at the Guildhall, Northampton
  • Monday, 4 to Friday, 8 March, 10am -12.30pm at the Community Law Service shop, 30 St. Giles Street, Northampton

Councillor Mary Markham, Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet member for housing said: “We are pleased that working with Northamptonshire County Council we have been able to secure funding from the Government so that the energy saving drop-ins can continue this year.

“Local residents can come along to a drop-in or event, speak to an energy adviser and get some advice and small energy saving devices. You might also be able to get free insulation which could save you hundreds off your fuel bills.”

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