Warm Home Service 2016/17 at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

In November 2016 Change Agents UK and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (M.B.C.) set out to deliver the Winter Warmth Support & Energy Advise Service 2016/17 and to continue our successful partnership from recent years.

The Winter Warmth Service is a person-centred and holistic approach to ensure that the residents of Dudley are able to be warm and well at home; supporting them to better afford the costs of heating their homes - getting the best value for money from their energy providers and optimum energy output from their homes.

With the objective of tackling the issue of fuel poverty and the associated health and well-being implications, we recruited three Change Agents, a Warm Homes Advisor and two Fuel Poverty Officers, to collectively deliver the service through home visits and referral generation. The Service has been deemed a big success amongst the residents, with over 90% rating the 2016/17 service good or excellent and the Change Agents carrying out the work of the Winter Warmth Service were praised by residents throughout the area.

I feel comfortable with all aspects of this service and have no qualms recommending the Winter Warmth Service to anyone who will listen!

Extremely satisfied with the person who came round, very polite and courteous. Answered my questions and made me feel comfortable as I live alone.

From November to April a total of 678 properties were visited across the Dudley area, with significant and wide reaching benefits shown; 391 households were assisted in switching their energy provider, yielding a total saving of £75,287, whilst 271 residents were also able to apply for the Warm Home Discount, leading to further savings of £37,940. In total The Winter Warmth Service has saved Dudley residents £113,227 reducing the energy spend, on average, by £167 per household.

Now that residents have had the support provided by the service, almost 75% of respondents felt they had an improved knowledge of keeping healthy and over 80% now have peace of mind because of the changes made.

A very informative Visitation, which helped to improve long term awareness of important heating and health issues, a very good assessment by an independent body pointing us in the right direction for the future. Thank you.

Fuel Poverty remains a major issue across the country but the work done by our Change Agents and local authorities like Dudley M.B.C are making meaningful progress in tackling Fuel Poverty and all its associated problems.