Green Doctors are here to support residents facing lockdown energy bill debt

On the 24th June energy regulator Ofgem gave energy companies the go ahead to begin chasing residents for payment of their energy bill debt again, following a period of paused debt collection during the first few months of the Covid-19 outbreak. Groundwork wants residents in London to know that our friendly team of energy advisors ‘the Green Doctors’ are here to help.

Many households have seen their incomes reduce as a result of the Covid crisis and many have had to apply for Universal Credit. Energy use at home has increased by £16 a month on average during lockdown and more for those with poorly insulated homes or larger households. Facing a reduced income when energy use and other expenses like buying more food for the family are likely to have increased, means that many more households will be struggling with energy bills or facing energy debt at this time.

Help with energy bills is only a phone call away

While the COVID-19 social distancing measures are in place the Green Doctors are providing pre-booked telephone consultations to residents to help identify ways to support those who are struggling with their energy bills at this difficult time. During the phone consultation Green Doctors will assist residents in topping up their pre-payment meter, applying for energy debt relief, switching energy provider, signing up for support services such as the Priority Services Register and provide practical advice on how to save energy around the home. The Green Doctors can also put residents in touch with other organisations and services that can offer support, including befriending schemes, fire safety services, broader debt advice and local foodbanks.

Rebekah Phillips, Programme Manager for Green Doctors, said

Our friendly Green Doctor advisors are waiting to help those struggling with energy debt. It’s easy to book a consultation, either call our Freephone number 0300 365 3005 or fill in a simple online form and we’ll get right back to you.

Notes to editors:
The Green Doctors a free service operated by the charity Groundwork London. They have been providing trusted home energy advice and support to Londoners for over 14 years.
The Green Doctors advise up to 5000 residents a year across London funded by councils, housing associations and charitable trusts.
Over 11.8% of Londoners are experiencing fuel poverty. This means they are struggling to afford their energy bills, which can impact heavily on their physical and mental health and wellbeing. (Household and fuel poverty numbers at region level come from the national fuel poverty statistics, 2018)
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