By Madiya Shokat, Community Energy Advisor
A colleague from GROW got in touch with the energy team as she had a client, who was struggling with energy bills. She has a range of physical illnesses and is less mobile. This means she spends a lot of her time indoors. She said that due to that she struggles with energy bills and to keep the house warm for herself. She is on benefits.
Madiya phoned the client to speak more about her energy usage and used this opportunity to offer a variety of support. The client explained she is finding it very difficult in her house as her house is always cold. The client has already spoke to CAB but feels like they put her through more debt. She is on ESA and isn’t getting any warm home discounts as she found out that she wasn’t eligible for it this year.
Client explained how she lives alone and is finding it difficult as 1 person is paying the bills. She explained that she is on a prepayment meter and feels like she is paying more than she owes. While Madiya was speaking to client, Madiya offered a green doctor’s referral and a winter warm pack which she reckons she will benefit from. Client wanted to see if she was able to get any vouchers for her gas and her electricity as CAB keep ignoring this question when she asks. Client was advised that only sometimes not all the time, green doctors can issue vouchers when visiting. Client explained how she has plug ins for her stairs, so she is able to see at night when going to the bathroom. Madiya advised client to replace these with battery operated fairy lights/candles as this way she will save more on her electricity by not having these plugged in all night. Client is advised other energy saving tips and is advised she can save up to £487 a year by doing these energy saving tips. Client is advised she will be contacted by green doctors. Client is also informed about winter warm packs and client thinks she will benefit from one. Madiya will arrange a time and date to pass on this winter warm pack to client.
Client is overwhelmed and suffers with anxiety, which meant she didn’t want to leave the house to receive the winter warm pack. Madiya contacted the colleague from GROW as she regularly meets this client; Madiya arranged to meet up with the colleague to pass on a winter warm pack to client.
Whilst visiting Catcliffe Memorial Hall, Madiya was speaking to the colleague from Citizens Advice who mentioned offering fuel vouchers. The colleague from Citizens Advice managed to set up a fuel voucher for client. Client was also contacted about this and felt relieved with the help provided and given. Client also mentioned from the last time she spoke to Madiya to now, she has had the green doctors visit and done the energy saving tips around the house and it has helped so far.