Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Switched On Portsmouth is dedicated to improving home energy efficiency in the city and surrounding areas; saving money from people's bills and reducing carbon emissions from their homes.

It was established by Portsmouth City Council last year in order to deliver a number of existing energy and affordable warmth schemes; including homes energy advice, emergency boiler replacements, first time central heating and insulation. Switched On Portsmouth was also charged with expanding the reach and scope of the services on offer.

They have now released a report charting the past 12 months to show the extent of the positive impacts that they have had.

The Switched On Portsmouth Impact Report provides details of the 1,500 households helped in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant from June 2019 through to May 2020, and the extent to which households have been helped. The report shows:

  • 425 of the most vulnerable households benefitting from home visits; 73 broken boiler replacements and 2,591 small energy saving measures fitted
  • £818,844 saved from people's bills or delivered from benefit maximisation service and securing Warm Homes Discount payments
  • Carbon emissions equivalent to 1,487 tonnes of carbon dioxide reduced from homes
  • More than 18,000 visits to the Switched On website, since its launch in November
  • During the coronavirus crisis, 94 households unable to afford to top-up their prepayment meters, were helped by administering emergency top-ups totalling over £3,000

Despite the encouraging statistics in the impact report, more than 1 in 10 households in Portsmouth still struggle to afford their energy bills; and this 'fuel poverty' leads to societal and health impacts, and often the household needing to decide between heating and eating.

It is for this reason that the Switched On Portsmouth team is continuing to expand the scale and scope of their schemes, in order to reach those most in need. In March of this year, the council published its Home Energy and Water Strategy; and since this time, additional funding has been secured from external partners to increase the support available.

The publication of the strategy also heralded the launch of wider support for residents not in the fuel poor category, but that want to make savings on their bills and reduce their carbon emissions.

Councillor Vernon-Jackson, the Leader of the council, welcomed the publication of the report,

"The development of the Switched On service has provided more households in Portsmouth with holistic energy support than ever before; helping them to feel warm and safe at home. The energy saved in each home contributes to an important reduction in carbon emissions in the city; improving air quality and helping Portsmouth City Council towards its target of net zero carbon by 2030.

The impact report highlights the important work of Switched On Portsmouth over the past year; and I know there are plans to improve the support offered even further in the coming months. I am confident that in another year's time I will be able to report even greater successes as we build on the direction given by the recently published Home Energy and Water Strategy."

In October 2019, Portsmouth City Council received national recognition at the Energy Efficiency Awards for its work towards mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents, as well as being crowned Council of the Year at the recent regional awards.

To view the published impact report, please click here

To speak to one of the team about the support on offer, please call 023 9284 1947 or visit www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk