Understandably the Association is concerned that many of our tenants are at risk of fuel poverty. With inflation rising to its highest level in 40 years and the increase in the energy price cap, some tenants are having to choose between heating their homes or feeding their family. There seems to be no let up either with further increases expected to be announced later in the year causing an estimated 211,000 homes across Scotland to be at risk of being plunged into fuel poverty. Never have our tenancy sustainment services been more stretched, in particular our Energy Advice Project.  

Help with bills 
We have a number of funds and access to funding which we are using to provide tenants with energy top ups and food vouchers. However, these pots are not limitless and we need to continue sourcing funding to ensure our tenants get the help that they need and do not have to make impossible choices.

Carol Reid, housing operations lead explains:- "Many people may feel lulled into a false sense of security during the summer months as they may be spending less on energy bills whilst also accessing some of the monies from various Government interventions such as discount on council tax or various utility cash back schemes, freeing up a bit of cash for other essentials which have increased in price such as food and fuel.

"However, we believe that we need to get the message out now to encourage tenants to plan now for Autumn/Winter to give them a bit of a “cushion” when the colder weather and further increase in costs hit.

"We have set up an Energy Crisis Focus Group so that we can be proactive in our approach to alleviating fuel poverty and helping our tenants through these challenging times. An action plan has been agreed and we will ensure our frontline staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide advice to our tenants or identify where further support is needed. By doing this we hope to alleviate some of the stress and burden placed on tenants during these difficult times.

"A number of events and promotions will take place during the coming weeks with regular updates being posted on both our website and Facebook page to communicate the action plan and engage with tenants.

"Our 2021 Resilient People, Resilient Places, tackling poverty strategy was created to highlight our commitment, as a social landlord, to tackle poverty and inequalities. We recognised the need for a strategy to ensure that as an organisation we understand the challenges our tenants are facing and we are proactive in our approach to supporting those who are vulnerable and most in need."

Contact the Energy Advice Project now!
Call David Barr, Energy Adviser or email to book your appointment.
T: 01224 202934 | E: energy@grampianhousing.co.uk

Energy efficiency
We must also remember that if our tenants are not able to heat their homes adequately, this will impact on the fabric of our buildings, so as a socially responsible landlord we must consider how we can make our properties more energy efficient over the coming years. We are therefore arranging energy efficiency and property condition surveys over the summer to ensure we can validate which measure best suits each home to lower utility invoice costs and we are committed to continued investment in tenants’ homes to improve insulation and energy efficiency.

We are running a number of pilot projects to help us understand the benefits of low carbon power and heat which will include a decarbonisation project and making more use of solar PV and battery power. By fitting environmental sensors as part of any upgrade we will be able to monitor the real time benefits of the technology we are using, creating better maintained, healthier and energy efficient homes.

Our commitment to energy efficient homes also extends to our new build programme with any new developments from 2024 set to meet 2045 targets for energy efficiency. In addition to this, they will achieve at least a “B” Energy Performance Certificate rating and domestic heating and hot water will come from a zero-carbon heating source.

About Grampian Housing Association
As a socially responsible landlord we recognise that the provision of high-quality affordable homes can have wider social and economic benefits for the communities we serve in the North East of Scotland. In short, as a social landlord we go over and above our traditional remit of housing to make a real, tangible and long-term difference to meeting all other social policy objectives, like health and social care, child poverty, an ageing population, employment and education.

 

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