We’re on our third WISH!

Our Somerset fuel poverty programme is back for a third run

12 August 2013

We're delighted that the Big Lottery's Reaching Communities programme is funding WISH for another three years.

WISH - Warmer Improved Somerset Homes - is a much-loved fuel poverty programme that has been helping older people in Somerset since 2006. WISH's second incarnation, from 2010-2013, helped more than 11,500 people.

This time, though, it's not just older people who will benefit. We're also aiming to help families with young children who struggle to pay their energy bills. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk of developing heath problems due to living in cold homes, so we will target both of these groups.

Why Somerset needs a granted WISH

Paying the bills and staying warm and healthy at home is a huge issue for many Somerset residents. In rural areas, many houses are old with solid walls that are hard to insulate, such as old stone buildings. A lot of these homes are off the gas grid, meaning they have to be heated with more expensive oil or electricity - fuel bills are going up particularly fast for these households. There's a high proportion of older people, who suffer the effects of living in cold or damp homes, and we have also found a low level of understanding about energy use and costs among low-income households.

WISH aims to tackle these issues. We want people in fuel poverty or fuel debt to have a better quality of life as a result of improved access to good quality energy advice and energy efficiency improvements. And we want to see the community working together to tackle cold homes.

What WISH offers

Over the next three years, WISH aims to provide an integrated energy advice service, including:

  • Helping people understand how to better manage their energy use
  • Information about energy efficiency improvements
  • Advice on dealing with fuel debt
  • Checking that households are claiming the benefits they're entitled to 

Our advice team will work with local agencies to deliver this support, through home visits, telephone advice, and drop-in advice surgeries. WISH case workers will be based in local partner organisations so that they are on hand for people who need them. And we will also be working with local community groups and volunteers who will provide home energy advice alongside our team.

Read more about WISH on its project page.

WISH covers Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, Taunton Deane and West Somerset. If you, or somebody you know, could benefit from the WISH project, please get in touch:

Call the Home Energy Team
Email: home.energy@cse.org.uk

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