Latest government figures estimate that over 17,000 Croydon households are in fuel poverty – 11.2% of our households (the national percentage is 10.3%). Attached is a map showing the distribution of fuel poverty across the borough. We are keen to work with organisations that have lower income and vulnerable residents as members or clients to help us raise awareness of the support we can offer, particularly in areas with lower fuel poverty, where we will be doing less outreach work ourselves.
Croydon Healthy Homes has been helping residents since 2016. From November 2019, the service has been delivered in-house with two full time advisors. This approach means that advice and support can be tailored to residents’ needs, including follow-up support where required to secure the best outcomes for them.
Advice and support is initially provided via telephone consultation (with online support where appropriate). Home visits and other face to face support will be available once these can be provided safely. During the Covid restrictions, we are focusing on helping residents with energy bill issues, advising them about finding and switching to better energy tariffs, applying for the warm homes discount, priority services register and with energy debt issues. The team can also support residents cut their water bills. Many Croydon residents miss out on discounts such as WaterSure and WaterHelp (a 50% discount for households with a gross income under £19k).
The service can offer home owners and private sector renters advice about using heating systems and other household appliances more efficiently. Advice is also available to help reduce the risk of condensation.
Croydon Healthy Homes can help lower income home owners and private sector tenants access external grant funding for energy improvements. National and regional (GLA) grant funding schemes are complex and subject to change, but the measures that we can currently help access funding for are:-
- wall and loft/roof insulation (home owners and private sector tenants)
- heating systems (generally home owners only)
- winter emergency replacement boilers (home owners on benefits) where no heating is available. The service has already helped more than 10 households get new boilers installed this winter.
Grant funds are often issued in phased, limited pots. Our advisors therefore keep a record of what energy saving measures residents would benefit from, along with relevant eligibility criteria. These residents can then be contacted again if and when new funding become available.
More information about the service is on our web page www.croydon.gov.uk/healthyhomes
The Croydon Healthy Homes service is funded from Carbon Offset payments. These payments are made by new developments which cannot achieve the Mayor of London’s Zero Carbon Homes target. The Carbon Offsets are collected via the S106 agreements and must be used to deliver carbon reduction projects within the borough. Using the funding this way enables additional external capital funds to be secured from energy suppliers (via their Energy Company Obligation) and the GLA to tackle both fuel poverty and carbon emissions. Croydon Healthy Homes also helped Croydon BME Forum to secure funding for a one year project to provide support to harder to reach BAME communities.
Big London Energy Switch
Since 2014, Croydon Council has been promoting the Big London Energy Switch, a collective switching scheme to help residents find and switch to the best energy tariffs. The scheme was set up by a consortia of London Boroughs, including Croydon. Unlike other schemes, it secures best tariffs for those with prepayment meters, along with better quality information for residents who may be entitled to discounts from their supplier. A letter has been sent out to Croydon residents this week about the scheme, fully funded by our delivery partner IChoosr.
More information is available: www.croydon.gov.uk/energyswitch
Helping residents heat their homes and reduce their fuel bills
Please use this web site address to view the council’s e-mail disclaimer – http://www.croydon.gov.uk/email-disclaimer