Dudley Healthy Homes Project: Providing Large Scale Energy Efficiency Measures To Those In Need, by Chris Latham-Warde

Dudley BGET

The Dudley Healthy Homes Large Scale Measures Project, a partnership between Change Agents UK and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC), has been successfully delivering large-scale energy efficiency interventions to vulnerable Dudley residents throughout 2016.

The project, which is funded by the British Gas Energy Trust, is uniquely positioned as an extension of DMBC’s Winter Warmth Support Service.  This innovative partnership combines the existing Winter Warmth advice and guidance service with the provision of large-scale measures such as boilers and loft insulation, forming a powerful collaborative force for tackling fuel poverty in the area.

Now nearing completion, the project has provided over 50 large-scale energy efficiency interventions to vulnerable households across the borough to date.  The majority of these interventions have included the provision of a new energy efficient boiler, with a number of residents receiving full gas central heating installations.  One resident described how he has benefitted from his new energy-efficient boiler:

I’m absolutely over the moon with it.  The new boiler has helped me in so many ways - it has saved me money and made me more comfortable in my home . . .  It has certainly improved my quality of life without a doubt.

The project has been able to offer its large-scale measures to the most vulnerable residents in the borough through its collaboration with the DMBC Winter Warmth Service - an established hub attracting regular referrals from health and social care professionals as well as members of the public.  This approach has eliminated marketing expenses and has enabled funding to go further to support those in need. 

Delivering this project has been very rewarding – its integration with the existing Winter Warmth Service has added another dimension of support to a valuable local service which helps vulnerable people to stay warm and well in their homes.  I am very proud of what we have achieved and I know the project’s work will have a positive impact on the lives of beneficiaries for many years to come.” Chris Latham-Warde, Dudley Healthy Homes Project Manager at Change Agents UK. 

In addition to the work carried out by the Healthy Homes Project, Dudley residents will continue to benefit from the partnership between DMBC and Change Agents UK as the two organisations join forces once again to deliver the DMBC Winter Warmth Service across the borough this winter.  Change Agents UK is appointing 3 Energy & Fuel Poverty Officers to deliver the service and it is estimated that these officers will complete over 600 home visits before the end of March, providing comprehensive support (including energy advice, income maximisation and physical measures) to those most vulnerable to the cold.

The collaborations between DMBC and Change Agents UK continue to have a positive social and environmental impact on the Dudley area.  The team are looking forward to delivering another successful Winter Warmth campaign and are as motivated as ever to tackle fuel poverty and promote health and wellbeing across the borough.