Providing support and raising awareness among populations living in fuel poverty
The Foundation is supporting Energise Sussex Coast to help fight fuel poverty in the southern United Kingdom
The Rexel Foundation is providing a €20,000 grant for the social enterprise Energise Sussex Coast, whose mission is to assist low income communities in Sussex and Kent counties in southern England, which are particularly affected by fuel poverty (around 13% of the population). Four locations will receive special attention: Hastings, Newhaven, Brighton and Worthing, where various action initiatives will be implemented:
- Training for 600 energy advisors.
- Staffing of informative energy pop-up shops downtown or in parent-child centers, employment agencies, food banks, etc.
- Organization of home insulation workshops.
- Distribution of “energy packs” containing various supplies to improve household energy efficiency: low consumption LED light bulbs, draught proofing kits for doors and windows, a timed light switch and an energy monitor.
Richard Watson, Energise Sussex Coast (ESC) founder, specifies the objectives:
“The primary goal of ESC, as well as of its fellow associations in the Community Energy South network, is to provide support for residents via a comprehensive approach so that they can heat their homes and return to decent living and health conditions. Our primary means of action is to assess their fuel bills and help them find a new energy supplier that can provide the lowest tariff. Next, we want to teach them simple ways to insulate their homes. Our aim is for the insulation kits provided in the “energy packs” to really be put to use, so that everyone can see and measure the savings generated and so that every trained individual will in turn train their family and their neighbors, who will then train their own neighbors, etc.”
Results and expected impact
- Train 600 energy advisors.
- Provide advice for 1,500 people on how to lower their fuel bill.
- Distribute 400 “energy packs” (100 in each location) and ensure their proper use.
Ultimately, ESC would like to demonstrate the link between investing in fighting fuel poverty, which improves the quality of housing, living and health conditions, and reducing the cost of medical care provided for these communities by medical centers and hospitals. A study is underway.