The search is on for 50 ‘energy champions’ in Walsall who will help friends, family and people in the community become more energy efficient and reduce the cost of their energy bills.
The Community Action Partnership (CAP) is offering free training to local people on simple steps that can be taken to make their home more energy efficient, the support available to households with fuel debt problems and how to switch suppliers.
CAP is a £1.2m scheme delivered by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) and British Gas, in partnership with local councils. The partnership aims to tackle fuel poverty in communities across the UK by addressing it at a grass-roots level.
To date, the scheme has successfully trained 150 people in the Walsall area, who are now actively sharing their knowledge with the people they live and work with. The project is now looking for a further 50 Walsall locals to become energy champions over the next two months.
It is estimated that every trained energy champion goes onto help 15 people each month, meaning that the scheme has the potential to help thousands of households in Walsall become more energy efficient in 2016.
Cllr Mohammed Arif, portfolio holder for shared services and procurement at Walsall Council said: “We want to create warmer and more energy efficient homes across the area. I’d urge residents to come forward and become our energy champions, helping those in need in our community.
“There are many elderly and disadvantaged people who could benefit from the help these energy champions can provide, please join and help reduce fuel poverty in Walsall.”
Christine Tate, head of corporate responsibility at British Gas said: “We’re proud to support this scheme and to help households in Walsall become more energy efficient. Local residents, social workers, healthcare staff and others active in the community are ideally placed to spread this knowledge and help others.”
Maria Wardrobe, director of external affairs at National Energy Action said: “We’re pleased to be working with British Gas and Walsall Council to bring warmth and comfort to the local community. This training is ideal for anyone wanting to make their home more energy efficient, or would like to learn how to help others get on top of their energy use.
“We’ve already had a great deal of interest in the sessions, so would advise anyone in the area who would like to take part to sign up soon.”
Residents or community workers interested in becoming an energy champion can contact Saleem Sheik on 02476 559 191 for more information on how to sign up for the training sessions.
Upcoming training will be held at the following venues on these dates:
Furlong House, Lanton Close, WS3 2LJ – 3 February 2pm – 4pm
Independent Living Centre, 9 Wisemore, WS2 8EZ – 5 February 2pm– 4pm
Bloxwich Library, Elmore Row, Bloxwich, WS3 2HR – 11 February 10am – 12pm
Old Rectory Gardens, Aldridge, WS9 8UP – 23 February 2pm – 4pm