Helping Bristol households apply for Warm Home Discount

13 September 2016

This month sees CSE's advice team running a series of Warm Home Discount workshops in Bristol to help residents apply for the £140 rebate. This is for people who receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. (For more about the Warm Home Discount, see our advice site.)

While many of those attending with be tenants of Bristol City Council for whom we're running Tenants Energy Advice. But anyone is welcome says CSE's Lisa Evens who is organising the workshops. "In many cases we'll be able to make an application to the Warm Home Discount then and there. But we do need to see people's gas or electricity bills."

Two of the workshops have already taken place, with four (at the time of writing) still to come:

These events are managed by a partnership CSE has struck with WE Care & Repair and Talking Money. Lisa said: "Working closely with our partners means that not only we can sort out any energy problems a household may be facing, but we can also support them if they have financial difficulties or see if repairs are needed to the property.

"A typical energy-related issue that we expect to come across at these workshops is around pre-payment meters. Pre-payment customers are entitled to the Warm Home Discount but not for some other discounts from their fuel supplier and so often pay more for their energy than they need to. We can look into alternative payment options, and our partners can tackle other money issues the household might have - all in one place."

Meanwhile, a success story for our Somerset-based WISH project.

A very vulnerable family in Somerset that had fallen into acute fuel debt (approximately £650 electric & £450 gas) has had their debt cancelled. This follows intervention by CSE's Liz Dagger, caseworker on WISH, who made an application for funds to EDF Energy Trust.

“By clearing this debt for the family we will have significantly reduced the distress being exprerienced by this vulnarable household," said Liz. "The in-depth energy advice that CSE has given to family around the use of electric plug heaters should ensure reduced consumption. The household has now switched to a cheaper tariff and has applied for the warm Homes Discount. These three interventions should make future bills manageable for the family. So this winter their budget should be under control while living in a warm  home.”

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