Warming Mendip ends having helped warm thousands

But new project set to be rolled out across Somerset

29 January 2010

One of the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s successful advice projects comes to an end next month having helped several thousand vulnerable local residents over the course of its lifetime. But local residents concerned that they may miss out following the project’s conclusion need not worry – as a new scheme will be taking its place.

The lottery-funded Warming Mendip project, a three-year scheme which started in 2007, was designed as a one-stop source of energy advice for people living across the Mendip district of Somerset.

It aimed to identify people living in cold, damp homes or struggling with fuel bills, as well as supporting clients through applications for benefits and ensuring grant-aided energy efficiency measures were installed wherever possible.

During the three year period it ran, Warming Mendip provided advice to more than 1,000 households on energy efficiency and the treatment of cold and damp, through 36 outreach events. A further 3,000 households were sent similar information through the post, and more than 500 people were given in-depth advice by phone, helping them to stay warmer and safe at home.

The project also helped support dozens of people with benefit claims, resulting in successful claims of more than £2million in benefits, most of which would otherwise have been unclaimed.

More than 250 local professionals were trained by Warming Mendip, too, as CSE looked to pass on knowledge and understanding of how to spot signs – like blankets folded over armchairs – that residents may be underheating their homes.

Insulation also played a major role in the project, with referrals for 234 loft and cavity wall measures across the area. Other help included guidance with heating controls, advice on treatment of damp and condensation, and referrals to partner organisations for support with home improvement and energy audits.

Warming Mendip even helped to clear eight lofts that the householders were unable to clear for themselves to enable the insulation to go ahead!

The WISH (Plus) project has now been funded by the Nationwide Foundation to expand from its original districts of Sedgemoor and West Somerset to cover the whole of Somerset including the Mendip area. (find out more about the expanded WISH project here)

This new service will see CSE develop partnerships with a local home improvement agency to provide an in-depth service integrating all aspects of fuel poverty. This includes: housing, benefits, fuel debt services and energy efficiency, through home visits, case work, outreach and client follow up.

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