The Community Council for Berkshire’s (CCB) is hoping to bag a cash boost to help families on low incomes stay warm this winter.
CCB’s has been shortlisted by the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to help tackle fuel poverty in low income families, by giving essential advice, guidance, and support to reduce their gas and electricity bills.
CCB’s Family Home Energy Advice Project tackles fuel poverty in low income families, giving them the skills and confidence they need to reduce their gas and electricity bills, through a variety of measures, enabling them to cut costs.
The funding from Tesco’s Bags for Help will enable CCB to deliver 1:1 drop-in advice sessions, targeting low-income families, at groups for families and children at Children’s Centres and other venues in West Berkshire and Slough.
Mother & Baby Group at The Curve Library in Slough
On evaluation, 72% of families say they will go on to compare costs and switch after a 1:1 consultation with Helen Dean, who co-ordinates this project.
Energyhelpline, a switching website, stated in December 2017 that during 2017 customers switching supplier saved an average of £217. Helen is also able to inform low-income families with young children of the Warm Home Discount of £140 they can claim. Advice is also given on grants for insulation and boiler repairs for low income families, and ways families can reduce the electricity they use at home.
Feedback from families after receiving a 1:1 advice session include:
“Great information for families”
“Really useful advice and encouraged me to check my current deal”
“Money is tight as I am on maternity leave. I never thought I could save money by switching. I will be looking into comparing costs for my gas and electricity this evening.”
“These kind of sessions are so helpful – we don’t often get a chance to stop and think”
Along with the Family Home Energy Advice Project, two other local projects have been shortlisted by Tesco.
The winning project will receive £4,000, the runner-up £2,000 and third-placed scheme will receive £1,000.
From 1st September customers at the Newbury Tesco Extra, on Pinchington Lane and customers and in Slough at Tesco Extra Slough, Farnham Common express, Iver Heath Express and Wexham Road Express will be able to collect tokens when they pay for their shopping, and vote in store.
Tesco head of community Alec Brown said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community.
“There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”