One of the leading energy suppliers in Britain has teamed up with a fuel poverty charity to increase awareness and understanding of energy efficiency among the unemployed in Exeter.
Energy firm E.ON, which is the only major energy supplier in the UK to have not imposed a gas or electricity tariff increase going into the final quarter of 2012, is working alongside National Energy Action to educate jobseekers on the virtues of energy efficiency. Based in Exeter, the scheme has been called Community Energy Fit.
E.ON and National Energy Action hope that the scheme will benefit some of the most vulnerable members of society by changing their energy habits. If significant changes can be made, the project should result in reduced bills for jobseekers and lower carbon emissions across the region.
In September this year, Jobseeker’s Allowance was paid to more than 2,000 adults in Exeter. E.ON and National Energy Action aim to target these individuals under the Community Energy Fit scheme to limit the extent to which they suffer from fuel poverty. By addressing energy efficiency among the unemployed, National Energy Action hopes techniques to save on gas and electricity can spread to other fuel-poor households.
Lorraine Donaldson, of National Energy Action, explained: “I’m delighted that we’re able to bring Community Energy Fit to Exeter.
“Over 6,000 households in Exeter are considered to be in fuel poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their income on the energy needed to heat their homes to an adequate level. Taking part in this training means that participants could save money on their fuel bills at home, learn how to help other members of their communities save money and boost their employment prospects”.
Whether knowing how to turn down the thermostat or switch off lights in unoccupied rooms can increase any person’s employment prospects remains to be seen, but certainly improving awareness of energy conservation and efficiency can help many households lower their bills.
Apart from ensuring that unused electrical devices are switched off (not left on stand-by) and doors and windows are closed during cold snaps, reducing energy loss in the home requires a combination of steps. To improve energy efficiency, households need to install loft insulation,cavity wall insulation, double glazing and energy-saving devices such as new boiler controls.