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FREE energy costs awareness training for VCSE staff and volunteers

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At CAN we are helping combat fuel poverty across and beyond Norfolk by running more of our free online energy cost training sessions for VCSE frontline staff and volunteers.  Many of you work with vulnerable people. These sessions have been developed to equip you and your colleagues in advising your clients and service users how they can save money on their energy bills.

The single sessions are just maximum 90 minutes long – so no-one has to lose a day’s work to attend!

Dates presently on offer are:

  • Tue 9th Feb 10.00 – 11.30am
  • Fri 12th Feb 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Wed 17th Feb 2.30 – 4.00pm
  • Tue 23rd Feb 2.00 -3.30pm
  • Mon 1st March 1.00 – 3.30pm

 

The training session will help

  • vulnerable people save energy and money in their homes  
  • understand what support is available to them  
  • people find the cheapest supplier  
  • know where to signpost clients to and understand what else they might need to consider  

 

Now more important than ever

Many households whose occupants have lost their jobs due to COVID, or are furloughed, or simply on short hours, are more likely to struggle to meet fuel bills, a problem made more severe by the present lockdown that compels people to spend more time at home.

Add winter temperatures into the mix, and we see heating bills climbing.

Fuel poverty defined

Basically, a household is said to be in fuel poverty if the occupant(s) are on low incomes and face high costs of keeping adequately warm and other basic energy services. Put another way, if that household has above-average costs for the fuel required to have a warm, well-lit home, with hot water and appliances, these costs leave the household in relative poverty.

Fuel poverty is driven by three main factors:

  • household income
  • the current cost of energy
  • the energy efficiency of the home.

 

There are around 40,000 households in fuel poverty across Norfolk. And around 600 premature deaths are directly attributable to fuel poverty.

 

The health factor

“Cold homes can cause or worsen a range of serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, bronchitis and asthma,” says Adam Scorer, the chief executive of advocacy group National Energy Action (NEA).  “This year, the situation is even more desperate. Lockdown and increasing unemployment will create a situation where more people are forced to spend time in homes they can’t afford to heat. Many people will use more, pay more and owe more, while earning considerably less.”

Many households cut back on heating bills by putting up with low temperatures or crowding into a single heated room – both of which increase the risk of spreading Covid-19. And colder weather is thought to increase the virus’s severity and spread. Moreover, many coping strategies which people normally employ to get through the winter months, such as only having one heated room for the family to socialise in, could also increase the spread of infection.

To join a session please email office@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk or call 01362 698216.

 

We can also arrange a session for staff and volunteers at a time convenient to you.   And this offer is open to VCSE, public sector and private provider organisations across the Eastern region – not just Norfolk.  If you are interested in booking a corporate session for your staff or volunteers please email  rik.martin@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk or call 01362 698216.