Bristol Tenants Energy Advice
We support people who are struggling to keep warm at home or unable to afford their energy bills.
Our team help people by providing
- Skilled advice and support
Our trained team provide highly skilled, in-depth, tailored advice to people in cold homes and in crisis. We provide expert energy advice, including helping people understand how to use their heating systems properly, how to avoid issues of damp and mould and how they can use less electricity and gas to save money.
- Income maximisation
Our advisors support with guidance on managing debt and accessing benefits and we can signpost people to the most appropriate support for their circumstances. We help people make savings wherever they can. This also includes accessing water schemes to save money on water bills.
- Emergency support
We help people keep warm at home when they are in crisis. We can access specific schemes or funds to do this. This might include distributing prepayment meter vouchers or other emergency interventions to help people keep warm.
Supporting the most vulnerable people in our local area
Collectively, we’ve saved people hundreds of thousands of pounds through switching tariffs, clearing fuel debt and applying for rebates like the Warm Home Discount.
Speaking about the project, Jamie Walters of CSE says; “Bristol council is taking the issues of fuel poverty and energy efficiency seriously and is continuing to fund us to provide advice and help for its tenants until at least June 2024.
“Through our work on TEA, we have the ability to reach and engage with some of the most vulnerable people in our local area and we tailor advice and support to meet each individual’s specific set of circumstances.”
Tenants call our advice line or are referred to us by the council’s housing officers or another support agency like a local foodbank. We offer telephone advice (including in languages other than English), digital or printed information, home visits and ongoing support.
Meeting tenants where they are
We’re proactive with our advice by promoting the service to Bristol council tenants in their local own area. We’ve met tenants at advice drop-ins, local housing forums, family fun days and even breakfast clubs.
Supporting the aims of Bristol City Council
Through the TEA project, CSE has supported Bristol City Council in the delivery of numerous planned programmes and strategic objectives. including engaging with tenants to promote the council’s programme of heating system improvements; making referrals for free loft and cavity wall insulation; evaluating a pilot of Dimplex Quantum as an alternative to conventional night storage heaters and evaluating tenants’ experience of having air source heat pumps installed in their homes.
We also provide trigger training to council teams so they can spot the signs of fuel poverty when they visit tenants’ homes and make appropriate referrals to TEA.
Meeting the needs of tenants
If tenants have self-disconnected from their energy supply due to financial worries, have built up energy debt or are simply struggling to afford their bills in the face of rising energy prices, CSE can advise them on managing their energy use, negotiate an affordable repayment plan and in some cases access trust funds to help clear debt.
To support people to use their heating efficiently, we have a range of how-to videos based on heating controls installed in Bristol council properties. Access them from our heating controls page.
Where our advisors spot damp and condensation issues in tenants’ homes they can offer behavioural advice to improve the situation or alert the council where improvements to insulation or ventilation are needed.
These services are helping to improve the financial situation of tenants and create warmer, healthier homes.