Caledonia Housing Association (CHA) has secured over £40,000 from the Social Housing Fuel Support Fund to expand its energy efficiency advice to over 6,000 homes across Scotland.
The partnership with Scarf, a national charity, was first established in November 2022 to ensure all tenants had access to support from energy experts in the face of rising energy bills and the cost-of-living crisis.
Following positive engagement with tenants, CHA launched the Big Energy Saving Week in January 2023. This included a national webinar and all-day drop-in sessions in Dundee, Perth and Cordale Housing Association’s office in Renton, West Dunbartonshire, to advise tenants on how to save money, manage energy bills and get financial support as well as tips on keeping their homes warm and comfortable.
The partnership has seen a significant response from tenants including:
- 283 Caledonia tenant referrals
- Provided over 2,600 pieces of advice, potentially creating over £39,000 worth of annual energy savings
- Supported applications to apply for energy debt assistance and helped clear over £2,800 worth of debt
- Over 200 energy saving measures provided to households
- Over £3,000 worth of energy financial payments made to households
Tim Calderbank, Director of Customer Service, Caledonia Housing Association, said: “This additional funding is very welcome as it enables us to increase the capacity of a wide-ranging energy advice service and support to our tenants. We chose to partner with Scarf to test and measure the effectiveness of providing in-house advice and support services to our tenants in tackling fuel poverty. Given the uptake of the services, it’s clear that there is significant demand for the services and CHA recognises that this will only increase as we move into the autumn and winter months.
“We are determined to continue to strengthen our response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and work with Scarf to reduce poverty through energy efficiency advice, support and advocacy. This will be available from within CHA’s wider community support services in the shape of an in-person events programme alongside over the phone advice to tenants on energy suppliers, financial assistance support and energy saving measures such as radiator foils and draught excluders.”
David Mackay, Co-CEO, Scarf, said: “Scarf is proud to partner with Caledonia Housing Association and is delighted to be one of the many sources of support that Caledonia are able to offer its tenants.
“We understand that during the cost-of-living-crisis money can be tight and we look to help households to efficiently use their heating systems, to maximise their income and to act as a support system with more complex heating/supplier issues. The Caledonia tenants have embraced our team, with the support we have offered leading to some really positive results, so we are looking forward to continuing this work.”
The Social Housing Fuel Support Fund is provided by the Scottish Government and administered by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.