The PACT project was thrilled to welcome the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey and the Minister for Climate Change, Greg Barker to the Redmond Community Centre to showcase the work the project has been doing to help local people to cope with rising energy costs and to launch the government’s new community energy strategy.
The minister joined the residents for a special breakfast event to celebrate Big Energy Saving Week and to present the PACT project with a Community Action Award for its work to address fuel poverty. The Minister heard directly from local people who had received support from the project’s Energy Advisors or ‘Green Doctors’, to make their homes more energy efficient and reduce their fuel bills.
Our energy assessors, many of whom are local volunteers, are trained to visit people’s homes to offer them energy saving tips and practical advice. The advisors offer a range of support from installing basic energy saving measures such low energy light bulbs, draught proofing and radiator panels to talking to residents about simple ways to save energy and water in their homes. They also offer advice and guidance on switching tariffs or energy providers to help people find the cheapest tariff for them.
The government’s community energy strategy, which sets out plans to broaden support available for community energy projects, will help people come together to reduce their energy use or purchase and generate their own energy.
Ed Davey said, “We’re at the turning point in developing true community energy. The cost of energy is now a major consideration for household budgets, and I want to encourage groups of people across the country to participate in a community energy movement and take real control of their energy bills. Community-led action, such as collective switching, gives people the power to bring down bills and encourage competition within the energy market.”
Fatma Gokay, a local resident, met the minister during his visit. Speaking about her experience of Groundwork’s Green Doctors, she said:
“My energy advisor helped me make some changes to my flat and to think about how I can use less energy and water. The energy monitor is really helpful as now I can see how much energy I use day by day. I was really surprised when my next quarterly bill was down by almost £50 – these savings will make a real difference to my family.”
Emily Jewell, Senior Energy Services Manager at Groundwork London said:
“By training local people as energy saving champions, they are able to work in their own community helping their neighbours to save energy and money. This approach has proved to be really successful and is helping spread the word about energy savings across the Woodberry Down estate and into the wider community.”