Energy Accessibility Service (EASE)
Helping disabled and elderly people to keep warm at home
Project duration: September 2015 ongoing
This project aims to give a better quality of life to disabled and frail older people struggling to keep warm and well through improved access to good quality energy advice. EASE recognises the need to include a broad spectrum of people in its service provision particularly in the light of cuts to public services that have had severe impacts on disabled people.
Warm homes are crucially important for disabled people – not only are they more likely to suffer the detrimental health effects of living in a cold home, but they are also more likely to struggle to pay fuel bills and access support for keeping affordably warm.
EASE aims to address these problems head on by providing personalised one-to-one advice on:
- Energy efficiency measures such as insulation.
- Financial support for staying warm.
- Switching energy supplier and dealing with fuel debt.
- Keeping safe in a power cut and enlisting on the Priority Services Register.
- Understanding and managing energy bills and meters.
- Knowing where to seek help on energy, financial and health related issues.
The project is working with existing organisations to reach as many people as possible and has created a referral system involving local voluntary groups, health services and other organisations. This approach ensures that potential beneficiaries know about the support CSE can offer, and how to access it.
Kate Thomas, CSE’s project manager explained that a lack of understanding about how “energy advice” can help is often a barrier: “People don’t always understand how we can help them. They tend to think we’ll just tell everyone to turn their heating down or even off! But it’s about much more than that – it’s about getting the best from your energy supplier, making sure you receive the help you need and being able to keep yourself safe, warm and comfortable at home.”
EASE was funded by a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Grant.