Warm & Safe Wiltshire
An incorporated approach to energy advice
Project duration: December 2015 ongoing
Warm & Safe Wiltshire is an innovative approach to tackling cold homes and fuel poverty. Working in partnership, CSE, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are helping people live in healthier, safer homes.
The project acts as a single point of contact for energy advice with the aim of reducing both fuel poverty in Wiltshire and the preventable excess winter death rates.
Since 2015 to Sept 2021 we’ve supported over 7,000 households across Wiltshire and the Swindon council area, ensuring no one suffers from the health effects of a cold home.
Cold homes can exacerbate many existing health conditions as well as having a detrimental effect on mental and emotional wellbeing. This can cause an avoidable burden on health services.
Warm & Safe Wiltshire provides a varied and holistic support service to people in fuel poverty who need help with their energy bills and keeping their home warm. Advisers offer home visits and ongoing casework.
In October 2021, the project was included as an example of best practice in “Addressing the National Syndemic” a collaboration between PPP and the UCL Institute of Health Equity, in a report to generate knowledge exchange about place-based actions to reduce health inequalities.
What the service offers
Warm & Safe Wiltshire gives advice to householders on understanding energy bills, makes sure they’re on the best energy deal, and signs them up to the Priority Services Register and fuel debt support. This is done over the phone and through home visits.
The project has caseworkers embedded at the two main hospitals in Wiltshire (Great Western Hospital and Salisbury District Hospital). This helps support patients returning home, ensuring their home is warm and safe. The caseworkers also support health care staff with training to spot the signs of fuel poverty.
A community caseworker supports the hospital caseworkers helping the wider healthcare communities protect vulnerable households from cold homes and ill health.
We also have a Covid Recovery Fund project providing heating improvements for vulnerable households and employing two trainees. These trainee positions were offered to local young people in Wiltshire affected by the loss of opportunities due to Covid-19, supporting them with future employment skills.
Advice available includes:
- Contacting energy suppliers on the client’s behalf.
- Undertaking price comparisons to find the most affordable energy deal.
- Checking their eligibility for the £140 Warm Home Discount.
- Referring for fire safety checks.
- Providing energy efficiency advice and assessing damp and mould problems.
*Please note that Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not currently visiting people at home but can offer virtual visits if an issue is difficult to explain over the phone.*
How to find out further information
For more information about Warm and Safe Wiltshire visit: www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk or call Freephone 0800 038 5722.