Essex County Council can help make your home more energy efficient

WITH the cold snap sending heating bills soaring, Essex County Council is offering a new service to vulnerable people to help them make their homes more energy efficient. When making home visits to vulnerable clients, Home Improvement Agencies across the

WITH the cold snap sending heating bills soaring, Essex County Council is offering a new service to vulnerable people to help them make their homes more energy efficient.

When making home visits to vulnerable clients, Home Improvement Agencies across the county are additionally able to offer energy efficiency advice which is adapted to suit the householder's personal needs and circumstances.

Funded via Local Area Agreement (LAA) Sustainable Essex Partnerships, in consultation with the Home Improvement Agency, training has been given to existing home visiting staff to enable the delivery of sustainable energy efficiency advice.

Twenty staff, including case workers and handy person staff, are now City and Guilds trained and it is estimated that over 500 home visits are made by these teams each month.

Staff can advise on energy saving initiatives such as:

* Home Energy Efficiency

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* Heating controls and fuel sources

* Paying fuel bills/ fuel debt

* Condensation , damp and mould

* Energy Efficiency grants

The service, which includes all home improvement agencies in Essex as well as Essex County Council's Environment Strategy and Supporting People, also enables teams to make referrals for grant money to organisations such as Warmfront.

Cllr Tracey Chapman, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said: "This new service enables us to give energy saving advice to people who might not otherwise have a chance to hear it.

"Our homeworkers build up strong relationships with the people they visit and we're able to save our residents money without bombarding them with visits from people they don't know.

"It's great that we're protecting our environment as well as protecting the purses of the people we support.

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