Cadent Foundation has announced a grant worth £3 million to support the expansion of a programme for “green doctors” to tackle fuel poverty.
Green doctors are energy efficiency experts helping vulnerable households across the UK to stay warm, save money on their bills and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The grant will enable Groundwork to expand its Green Doctors programme, deploying trained advisors in at least 10 priority locations, providing energy cost saving advice to thousands of vulnerable households.
The Green Doctors will visit people in their homes, provide remote support via telephone and online and attend community events, delivering energy efficiency advice, promoting behaviour change and installing energy saving and warm home measures.
They will also work with other services to provide rounded support to vulnerable households, including addressing home safety issues and tackling food poverty.
Some of the services offered include identifying causes of heat loss in homes, identifying and tackling damp or mould problems, offering useful tips for saving energy and supporting people to switch energy suppliers to save money on their bills.
The grant will be provided over three years, with the project aiming to support at least 3,000 vulnerable households through consultations, deliver at least 300 training events in local communities and install 9,000 small energy saving measures to achieve annual cost savings of up to £465,000 in the first year.
Graham Duxbury, National Chief Executive of Groundwork said: “Around four million people in the UK are in fuel poverty, unable to afford to live in a warm, dry home. With more people at home, increased utility costs and unemployment rising due to the financial impact of the pandemic, more families will be experiencing extreme financial hardship as well as the emotional strain of keeping themselves and their loved ones well.
“Working with priority groups such as young people and families, low income households, residents of poor housing and those suffering ill health, this new partnership will help vulnerable households boost their income by saving energy so that they can live more comfortably and reduce their environmental impact.”