The need for healthier homes
A working family in receipt of working tax/child credits. They had water debt and we’re struggling to stay warm and healthy for more than 5 years in a rented house with damp and mould issues.
We organised an EPC and energy check (E rated EPC) as well as monitoring humidity and temperatures over several months. The family were featured in a BBC Panorama programme.
Making homes warmer
This client was rejected for PIP despite epilepsy and other debilitating illnesses. He is on a very low income and living in a cold home.
We were able to refer him for a free boiler along with insulation behind radiators, LED lights, draught proofing, Thermonstatic valves, TRVs and a new cylinder.
Accessing trust money
Our partner’s client came for advice on a large funeral bill he had received for his Mother who had died recently. He had paid over £1000 himself, with savings, a small inheritance and benefit payments. This left nearly £2000 to pay, some of which he was able to gather through some items he inherited from his late Mother. We completed some basic budgeting, an informal benefits check and then secured over £2100 from British Gas Energy Trust (BGET) for funeral costs.
Rebates on bills
Street homeless for over 6 months, our partner’s client had engagement with mental health services, the police, the council and other statutory agencies. She was actively attempting to pay a small arrears with EDF – where she had accrued a £55 debt on a previous tenancy. We phoned EDF and managed to match up a historic tenancy with the immediately previous one, and turned the £55 arrears into a £93 credit – which she was not aware was coming her way. We will apply for a Credit Union account for her as soon as this is supplied.
Cold Homes and Warm Home Discount
This client was worried about his electric meter being past the ‘emergency’ reading, as he was due to be paid two days later and we were about to hit the weekend. His flat was particularly cold and he needed some power over the weekend. We contacted EDF who offered £10 ‘friendly credit’ to see him through till payday, and then offered the Warm Home Discount due to the fact HH claims DLA and Income Support. All completed over the phone and will be applied when the time comes.
Switching to cheaper tariffs
Our partner’s client came to us with two main issues with his energy supply. First, he was restricted to quarterly bills when he had previously been paying via a payment card on his old address and account with a previous supplier. Second, his bills appeared to be high compared to his previous usage.
We found a cheaper tariff, saving nearly £50 a year, plus he received a payment card for better control over what he pays each month. He also has the security of now being able to change his tariff with no penalty, next year.
Multiple outcomes incl. Priority Services Register
A partner’s client had no gas or electricity at all. His landlady provided him with some static heaters as a short term solution, although these ended up costing him too much to run- about £5 a day. We secured him a Fuel voucher for £49 and Compensation of £40 paid for late installation of meter. Tariff change to Blue Fixed until March 2018 which is the cheapest available. Meter to be fitted as complaint resolved. Placed on Priority Services Register.
Relief grant and vouchers
Having recently been placed in a new property with his young daughter a partner’s client needed support to make a home. As well as applying for a Relief Grant we accessed some reduced price furniture at Hastings Furniture Service. He wanted to make sure he was on the right supply and saving as much money as possible in his new address. He also received a £45 Fuel Poverty voucher after engagement with the Food Bank.