Bristol’s got time for TEA

Workshops help vulnerable tenants save on winter bills

7 January 2015

Bristol City Council is taking the issues of fuel poverty and energy efficiency seriously, and so is continuing to fund CSE to provide help and advice for its tenants through the Bristol Tenants’ Energy Advice (Bristol TEA) service.

“This is a great partnership between CSE and the biggest local authority in the area to help some of the most vulnerable local people” said CSE’s Jamie Walters who is managing the project.

Part of this service has been a series of workshops promoting the Warm Home Discount – a £140 rebate on electricity bills to ease the burden of winter energy costs. All the ‘big six’ energy companies (and several smaller suppliers) offer the discount. Some customers receive the rebate automatically (those who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit), but most suppliers also offer the discount to a broader group of customers who receive other benefits – and these people have to proactively apply.

Since Bristol TEA’s second year commenced in late 2014 there have been 4 tenant workshops to support vulnerable tenants, who may be struggling to pay their energy bills, in applying for the rebate. These have helped a total of 80 residents over 4 regions of the city to apply. In addition, the council's text message campaign to promote the workshops allowed CSE advisors to support a further 80 people to claim even though they were unable to attend a session. If the total 160 applications were processed, this equates to £22,400 saved on Bristol tenants’ electricity bills this winter.

Bristol TEA offers help and advice on a range of issues including bills, fuel debt and getting the best deal from energy suppliers, as well as practical information on insulating homes and dealing with damp and condensation.

To get in touch, Bristol Council tenants can:

Call us | email home.energy@cse.org.uk | visit www.cse.org.uk/bristoltea

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