Collaborative fuel poverty service is awarded funding

We’re joining forces to help prepayment meter customers in Bristol

31 May 2016

This year a new partnership was formed when we were awarded funding by Ebico, in partnership with Talking Money and WE Care & Repairfor a joint ‘Pre-Pay Money Matters’ service.

Lisa Evans will be CSE's main contact for the service. She is thrilled it's got the go-ahead, and said:

"Bristol is known for is its ability to pull together in bettering the city for its inhabitants. The new partnership demonstrates this, providing a more rounded approach to fuel poverty support in a bid to tackle a complex problem.

"It's particularly valuable in Bristol where significantly more people using pre-payment meters (PPMs) than the national average, with around 21% of households paying for their fuel this way compared to a national average of 16%. And PPMs are a major indicator of people who are disadvantaged by low incomes and are coping with fuel poverty as a result," continued Lisa.

A snapshot of Bristol

Many PPM customers in the city live in poverty and in the lowest standards of rented property. And lots have other vulnerabilities – such as a disability – which require a sustained and a multi-agency approach. A high proportion (13.2%) of Bristol residents are living in fuel poverty, and, despite areas of relative prosperity, 16% of people live in areas that are among the most deprived in England. Since 2010, Bristol has on the whole seen a greater increase in levels of relative deprivation than the other English Core Cities.

The funding will provide targeted support for PPM customers, a group who are generally amongst the poorest householders in the UK, who often have the most complex needs around affordable warmth and tend to pay more for their fuel than others.  Once the client is identified, the agencies can then develop the support depending on the individual household’s situation, ranging from debt problems and income maximisation, to low cost energy saving measures and behavioural changes relating to financial capability and budgeting.

Each partner makes a significant contribution to assisting low-income and vulnerable households in Bristol, and through this project another 420 households will receive support. 

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