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Around 4 million UK households are in fuel poverty, unable to afford to live in a warm, dry home.
(NEA website: www.nea.org.uk)

In 2018 Family Action’s Holiday Hub team co-ordinated a pilot energy project entitled Getting Smart with your Energy. The project, which was funded by Smart Energy GB, aimed to help people:

  • feel more confident about approaching energy suppliers
  • learn more about smart meters, their benefits and how to get one fitted
  • receive help with budgeting for their fuel etc.

Main activities

11 ‘tea-time’ clubs were held in six community settings (eg in Staffordshire, Manchester, Wigan), reaching a total of 70 households (72 adults and 59 children).

These events consisted of a fun interactive workshop for parents introducing how to achieve cost savings around fuel, the benefits of smart meters, local sources of support etc. Children attending with their parents took part in fun activities related to energy saving. A free substantial healthy meal was provided for all attendees.

Following the events staff offered attendees one-to-one advice (e.g. about switching supplier).

‘I will save money because I will be more aware of what I spend.’ (parent)

‘Families really liked the opportunity to talk and share their thoughts.
They particularly liked a 1-1 chat about their own situation….’ (centre lead)

‘Children now aware of turning off lights to save energy – and close doors.’ (parent)

‘This is an excellent idea  … supporting families to have more disposable income and at the same time being more energy efficient is a superb initiative.’ (centre lead)

Going forward we are focusing on issues around fuel poverty and saving energy within Holiday Hub sessions (e.g. ensuring families have up-to-date information about energy saving tips).

Resources

A wide range of materials are available from the Smart Energy GB and NEA websites:

Find out more about the project from louise.reilly@family-action.org.uk