Friday 15th February 2019 is Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, a day which aims to highlight the importance of living in a warm and safe home and raise awareness of fuel poverty. UK homes are amongst the least energy efficient in Europe and we have one of the highest rates of fuel poverty* and here at Groundwork we are working hard to try and tackle this problem.
A household is thought to be fuel poor if their energy costs are considered to be above average and by spending that amount on heating their home they would be left below the official poverty line. Energy bills are the number one financial concern for households – but 63% of us think there’s nothing we can do about them*.
The Green Doctors have partnered up with Energy Helpline to help people search for the best deal on gas and electricity. Switching to a cheaper tariff could save you hundreds of pounds a year and by using Groundwork SWITCH you are helping us to tackle fuel poverty. For every household that switches in Yorkshire we are paid a small commission and we place this money directly into a hardship fund which is used by our Green Doctors to help those most in need on their visits.
The hardship fund has been a huge help during home visits and the money has been used to help people top up their energy meters, buy heaters for homes and much more.
Simon Kilshaw the Green Doctor Manger said, “Due to a combination of social, economic & political factors such as the impact caused by the introduction of the universal Credit system, rising fuel costs & poor quality houses, our Green Doctor service has witnessed a substantial increase in the number of people in 'desperate & dangerous situations requiring 'emergency support'. The Green Doctors began over 10 years ago and has been delivering over 2000 home energy visits each year across Yorkshire. We have seen a rise in people turning to foodbank vouchers, needing help with prepayment meter top ups and basic items like cookers and bedding. For these reasons the Green Doctors created the 'Hardship Fund' to help alleviate the serious impacts of fuel poverty".
To find out more about the Green Doctors and the work they do click here.