Northamptonshire Energy
Saving Service (NESS)

The Project

Northamptonshire Energy Saving Service (NESS) is a three-year project (2018-2021) funded by National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund to help address fuel poverty in Northamptonshire. It provides help which is free, confidential and independent and includes a combination of energy and debt advice, welfare benefits advice and income maximisation and practical measures to improve the warmth and energy efficiency of homes. The Project is being delivered by the Community Law Service in partnership with Care and Repair Northamptonshire, South Northants Volunteer Bureau and Citizens Advice Services Corby and Kettering. Northamptonshire County Council who submitted the bid on behalf of the partners have a strategic role in the Project.

 

Who Can Be Helped by NESS ?

The Project supports low income households living in either rented or privately owned accommodation who are having difficulty affording their energy bills and keeping their homes warm.

 

NESS Services include:

  • Welfare Benefit advice and Benefit and grant income maximisation
  • Welfare Benefit advice and Benefit and grant income maximisation
  • Debt and Money advice
  • Referrals for Warm Homes Discounts
  • Referrals for Priority Services Register
  • Energy efficiency advice
  • Tariff checks and switching
  • Provision of energy saving devices
  • Referrals for boiler replacement from ECO funding
  • Referrals for Home Energy Assessments
  • Provision  of practical energy saving measures in the home

How to Access the Project Services

Contact the NESS Team :  

Tel : 01604 623700
Email: enquiries@nessteam.org.uk
Website: www.northamptonshireenergysavingservice.org.uk

Agencies can Make a Referral via our website

Drop-In Advice Services

One Stop Shop, Northampton
Tuesday 12.30pm – 2.30pm

Rushden Advice Centre
Monday 12 noon – 1.00pm

Emmanuel Church, Weston Favell, Northampton
Wednesday 10.00am – 1.00pm (fortnightly)

In the first 2 years of the Project
(June 2018 – May 2020)

2469

Households were provided with assistance

£6,084,094

New income was secured for households

£1,424,053

Debt was managed for households

£320,824

Energy savings were made for households

Case Study

Client’s circumstances

Miss H attended an appointment as she had been sent a final notice of an outstanding debt with Scottish Power for £2211.90. She is a single person and was  36 weeks pregnant. She has learning and mental health disabilities and was in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment.(PIP)  She had left home at 17 and in the first three years she had lived in properties with prepaid meters, but then her last tenancy (all electric) had no prepaid facility and she was advised by the supplier, Scottish Power, to pay £16 per month. This she maintained for a period of 40 months and then moved addresses.

A final meter reading was taken and it came to light that she had been underpaying her utility and she had accrued a debt of £2211.90

Advice Provided:

  • Scottish Power was contacted to ensure the accuracy of the bill and then went through a financial statement with Miss H, where an application  was submitted to the Scottish Power Hardship Fund, Social Enterprise Direct, to have the debt cleared through a grant, as it was clear from the start that Miss H had poor budgeting skills and no comprehension of the cost of energy.
  • A full benefit check was provided which identified a vital disability premium within her Employment and Support Allowance and so a letter was sent to Department for Works and Pension with a request to have this amended from when she would have been eligible for this premium 6 years previously.
  • She had moved energy companies, though she was not on the correct tariff and after a telephone to EON she was placed in the correct tariff savings her £367.98 per year
  • An application was made for the Warm Homes Discount and she was registered on the Priority Register because of her vulnerability.

Outcome

  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund agreed to write off 75% of the outstanding debt
  • £13,374.40 Employment and Support Allowance arrears was awarded and she then cleared the remaining energy debt
  • Tariff saving was made of £367.98 per year
  • Warm Homes Discount was applied for – £140 award toward her energy  bill

Useful Links

Northants Warm Homes Partnership www.northantswarmhomes.com
Affordable Warmth Solutions www.affordablewarmthsolutions.org.uk/warm-homes-fund
National Energy Action (NEA) www.nea.org.uk
Care and Repair Northamptonshire www.careandrepairnorthamptonshire.org.uk
South Northamptonshire Volunteer Bureau  www.snvb.org.uk
Citizens Advice Services Corby and Kettering www.casck.co.uk
Northamptonshire County Council www.northamptonshire.gov.uk

Enquiries

For general enquires, please contact us on:

Northampton

01604 621038

Rushden

01933 313020

Wellingborough

01933 278248