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Project receives £30k UKSPF grant to help residents with energy and cost-saving measures

Last updated: 21/3/2024

A free advisory service in Rushcliffe is offering energy and cost-saving measures to help residents reduce their energy bills and improve energy efficiency in their homes.

Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) has allocated £30,000 of Shared Prosperity Funding from the UK Government (UKSPF) to Groundwork Five Counties’ Green Doctor project, which is helping homeowners save money on their bills and help reduce their carbon footprint.

By the end of March 31, the project will have reached 370 residents and supported 150 households in energy improvements, resulting in an estimated 22,500kg of carbon dioxide equivalent reductions and residents can find at more on the support available on the Groundwork Five Counties website.

Green Doctor coaches are working with participating households, face to face on their doorstep to review and provide energy saving advice to homeowners and introduce behaviour change methodology such as switching off lights when not in use.

The coaches provide advice on switching to cheaper tariffs and submit referrals to other local support services, for example, debt advice and food banks.

Eligible homeowners are also receiving help from the coaches with the installation of small energy saving measures such as LED lightbulbs and carry out interventions such as resetting boilers, thermostats, and small household changes for those that need it.

Cotgrave resident Gary Newman worked with Green Doctor coach Aliya Hussain to help reduce his financial burdens by signposting him to another service which successfully removed his debt with an energy provider and reduced his monthly direct debit.

After a home inspection, Aliya also helped to install LED lightbulbs within the property and focused on behavioural changes throughout the visit, making energy savings of £250.

Aliya also introduced the Big Difference Scheme, a social tariff funded by Severn Trent, which helped Gary to decrease his monthly water payments.

RBC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth Cllr Abby Brennan met Green Doctor Community Coach Aliya Hussain and Cotgrave resident Gary Newman at his home to hear more about the success of the project.

Gary said: “I visited the local advice centre to seek help with my current energy bills as I could no longer afford my cooking facilities, and I was put in touch with the Green Doctor for further support.

“Aliya and the team signposted me to a further service who helped me wipe my debt, which was a massive relief especially coming up to Christmas.

“The Green Doctor was there throughout the whole process and it’s refreshing to know there are people out there who can actually help.”

Cllr Brennan added: “We’re pleased to support this vital project through our UKSPF allocation, which is supporting those most in need of help to reduce their energy bills and improve the energy efficiency of their home.

“The Green Doctor coaches deliver advice to the beneficiaries and directly support residents in their homes through surveys and at outreach events to help people to identify ways to reduce both their energy costs and carbon footprint.”

Aliya said: “Groundwork provides services to help overcome barriers to escaping poverty, isolation, and improving wider health and wellbeing.

“Our experience shows that those most vulnerable to the impact of the cost-of-living crisis do not typically respond to offers of remote support and by providing support in people’s homes, we can offer specific tailored advice and supply and install small energy saving measures.

“Groundwork Five Counties is a community-based organisation and coaches like myself meet local residents and offer energy efficiency advice and UKSPF has enabled us to reach even more people within the Rushcliffe community.”

Photo caption from left to right: Groundwork Five Counties Community Coach Aliya Hussain, RBC's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth Cllr Abby Brennan and Cotgrave resident Gary Newman