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Supporting concerned tenants in troubled energy market

Ahead of COP26, SFHA strategic partner Changeworks wrote an article for our special climate change edition of Housing Scotland magazine about recent energy price rises and the support available for housing associations and tenants.

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By Lisa Bygate, Affordable Warmth Services Team Manager at Changeworks

Recently, we have heard a lot from householders we work with about their concerns regarding energy suppliers going out of business and prices going up. In response to these queries, we’ve produced a new advice sheet, Help if your gas or electricity supplier goes bust, explaining exactly what householders need to know and what they should do. The key advice is don’t panic. Help is out there, and there are safeguards in place to protect all energy supplier customers.

We can help

You might be getting those questions too. Feel free to signpost your tenants to our advice sheet or to our Affordable Warmth Services Team directly. We can help with issues, including disputes with energy suppliers, energy debt, billing concerns or understanding how to manage their energy better. Tenants who are on top of their energy bills are likely to be happier and more secure in their homes, heading off any potential issues for housing associations. Changeworks’ Affordable Warmth Services Team works directly with householders and tenants across Scotland to support them when they are experiencing fuel poverty or are at risk of it. The service also forms an essential part of our model for delivering energy efficiency and low-carbon solutions – addressing fabric improvements and installing low-carbon heating systems alongside behaviour change advice and support for householders.

Tailored support

When you work with Changeworks, you get the best of all worlds. Our decades of experience in delivering low-carbon living can provide you with the support, advice and services that you need to make a transformative difference. We know you’ve got ambitious goals and targets to hit, and we can make the process of delivering on that easy for you. We can work in partnership to help you to achieve your objectives. Changeworks’ teams can provide full project management services and deliver area-based insulation and renewable technology projects, based on a solid understanding of Scotland’s housing stock and tenant comfort. We can apply for funding, appoint and manage suppliers we know will deliver the quality you need and support your tenants throughout the journey.

Just transition

It’s not just about the buildings, it’s about the people inside. The transition must take householders with it, especially vulnerable householders, and that’s where our experience in tenant engagement comes in.

Our affordable warmth advisers can educate tenants on how to make use of the improvements you put in to achieve maximum efficiency, and they can also help to identify and address other energy supply issues. Our Consultancy Team uses the latest in behavioural science and our tried and tested methods to make sure that the changes to low-carbon living stick and make an impact. They can also provide detailed monitoring and evaluation services to help you track and evidence the success you’ve achieved.

We know it’s a challenging time for housing associations, with government targets looming, tenant concerns over rising prices and suppliers going under only complicates things. Help is at hand – and, with Changeworks, that help goes hand in glove with the transformative work needed to reach those net zero goals.

Support from Changeworks

Changeworks is an SFHA strategic partner which provides members with increased energy efficiency expertise.

If you have a tenant who could benefit from our support, either you or they can fill in the online referral form or email warmth@changeworks.org.uk.

If there’s an opportunity for us to work together, get in touch. Whatever your low-carbon challenge, we can help.

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