Portsmouth City Council has launched a new website to support households struggling to pay energy bills and keep their homes warm at an affordable cost. Switched On Portsmouth is a new website aimed at saving residents money and energy at home whilst helping to improve home energy efficiency through a number of schemes and initiatives.
The "Switched On Portsmouth" website has been launched to offer vital help, advice and financial assistance to households who may be struggling this winter. Free gas central heating and installation, the provision of energy and money saving measures during home visits as well as expert advice and tips are all available to eligible Portsmouth residents.
Fuel poverty is estimated to affect 10.9% of households in England and 12.1% in Portsmouth, which equates to over 11,000 households. Vulnerable households face a 'choice' between adequately heating and lighting their home or spending money on other essential outgoings.
Many residents may be forced to use less energy than they need, and live in cold homes. This disproportionately affects the elderly, families with young children and those living with long-term sickness or disability.
Councillor Darren Sanders, the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing said:
"Portsmouth has been nationally recognised for its work around fuel poverty mitigation already and this imaginative, integrated approach to tackle fuel poverty shows why. Too many people have to choose between heating and eating and the range of services the Council offers will help them do that.
"This one-stop shop offers everything from advice on switching energy supplier to installing boilers, central heating and low-energy light bulbs whilst helping people save energy. I urge everyone looking to cut their bills and save energy to use it and get in touch."
The new website, will provide a platform for residents to access vital help and will provide free and affordable ways to improve their home energy efficiency whilst saving them money.
One of the initiatives offered provides eligible residents with free first time central heating systems and installation.
In 2018, Portsmouth City Council and its partner AgilityEco successfully attracted £4.65m from the nationwide Warm Homes Fund, established by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions. A further £2.8 million was acquired from other energy efficiency funding streams, bringing the total amount to £7.4 million.
The money is to be allocated over three years, with the first installations for the project beginning in August. The scheme intends to deliver 1,500 free central heating installations during this time.
The authority works in partnership with Agility Eco, LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) to provide energy saving advice to vulnerable residents across Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant.
The launch of this new website comes after news that Portsmouth City Council won the National Energy Efficiency Award for Social Responsibility for its work around Fuel Poverty mitigation.
To see what energy and money saving initiatives you are eligible for visit www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk