Energy Projects Plus, based in Wallasey, has won a grant of £350,000 to develop a “retrofit buddies” scheme, which will provide one-to-one support for people having energy efficiency measures installed in their homes.
The retrofit buddy will work with the householder to co-design a Personal Action Plan and will then provide advice and support throughout the process.
The scheme is one of seven across the North West, supported with £4m from the Government’s Local Energy Advice Demonstrator (LEAD) Programme for England.
The North West Net Zero Hub is working with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to deliver the programme funding innovative projects piloting new approaches to providing local in-person energy advice.
North West Net Zero Hub is a regional programme to promote investment in energy projects. It is hosted by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Given the recent rise in the number of properties defined as being fuel poor – 13.4% across England in 2022 – the programme is particularly focused on providing energy advice to hard-to-reach customers, such as older people and those with limited internet access.
The data gathered will be used to develop future schemes to reduce fuel poverty, which has a strong link with poor health and quality of life.
Additionally, given the need to retrofit around 1 million properties per year to meet the Government’s net zero objectives, the programme will focus on accelerating decarbonisation within the harder-to-treat property market. These properties are often characterised as being hard-to-treat due to their age and specific building type.
James Johnson, Head of Regional Programme at North West Net Zero Hub, said, “The North West Net Zero Hub is delighted to be supporting Energy Projects Plus, along with six other projects through the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator competition.
“This is exciting news for the North West, and a great opportunity for talented North West organisations to carry out innovative approaches, supporting residents to make homes warmer and bills cheaper.”
Peter Owen, Chief Executive of Energy Projects Plus, said, “A key part of our charity’s work is making energy savings as achievable as possible to those who may otherwise face difficulties in accessing grants or services.
“This most welcome support from the LEAD pilot programme will make a huge difference to our work and local residents’ ability to maintain a warm and healthy home at an affordable cost.”