Cardiff-based community development charity ACE (Action in Caerau and Ely) and energy company E.ON have teamed up to train community volunteers to provide energy efficiency advice and resources to help local people save energy in their properties. The initiative was funded through a £1,250 community grant from E.ON’s Energy Action Fund.
Volunteer Energy Coaches have visited the homes of 30 vulnerable households in Caerau and Ely offering energy efficiency advice and follow-up support. Participating households were identified as being most at risk of being in severe fuel poverty by ACE working with Cadwyn Housing Association.
At each home visit, tenants were offered tailored practical advice and recommendations for reducing their energy use and bills. Where appropriate, the Energy Coaches fitted energy saving measures including draught proofing, radiator reflector panels, LED light bulbs and power down plugs to prevent appliances being left on standby.
Amy Cross, Senior Community Relations Executive at E.ON, said: “This project is about identifying the simple ways people can take control of their energy use, without affecting their comfort. A combination of basic energy efficiency measures, starting with draught proofing, and a clear understanding of how you’re using your energy can really help make sure you’re not wasting energy and paying unnecessarily high bills.”
Veronica Moore lives in Ely and received a home visit through the project, with the volunteers showing her how to put draught proofing tape around her front door and reflective foil down the back of her radiators.
Veronica said: “My house is cold and draughty in winter, and living on a tight budget I’m always interested in ideas for saving money. The Energy Coach who came out to my home left me with a personalised energy advice booklet, and I’m now paying more attention to the way I use all my electrical appliances.”
Sam Froud-Powell, Community Energy Officer at ACE, said: “This project has highlighted the effectiveness of a personalised, face-to-face approach. We’ve provided each of the 30 householders we visited with clear information about the changes that could help to make their homes more energy efficient, and we’ve supported them in tackling these action plans. Thanks to E.ON’s funding, the West Cardiff community now has trained volunteer Energy Coaches who can continue to work with and help their neighbours.”
Since 2013, E.ON’s Energy Action Fund has distributed over £75,000 to more than 40 community groups to support projects resulting in the reduction of energy use, the generation of energy from renewable sources or the provision of energy advice locally.
Full details of E.ON’s community relations activity can be found at eonenergy.com/about-eon/community