Funding from Chichester District Council will help enhance energy advice service
Leading councillors have approved funding for Citizens Advice to enhance an energy advice service specifically for residents living in the Chichester District.
At its meeting on Tuesday 5 September 2023, Chichester District Council's Cabinet approved a decision to allocate £60,000 to the Energy Advice Service which is delivered by Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice (AACA). The funding will cover the service for the next three years but will be reviewed annually.
"As a council we are really pleased to be able to continue supporting this vital service which helps hundreds of people each year," says Councillor Tracie Bangert, the council's Cabinet Member for Community Services. "This service is there to support the most vulnerable people, particularly those who are in fuel poverty. The specialist advisors support clients to ensure that they are on the correct energy tariffs, reduce their energy bills and maximise their income.
"As a council we know first-hand the difference that this advice makes, and helps prevent people from being in the awful situation of having to decide whether to buy food or heat their home.
"We know from Citizens Advice that in the Chichester District in 2020 there were more than 4,800 households in fuel poverty - the third highest in West Sussex - and that sadly this is likely to have increased over the last three years. We are also expecting levels of fuel poverty to rise even further when the Energy Bill Support Scheme ends. We also know from a Cost of Living survey that Citizens Advice carried out earlier this year that the biggest worry for most people is their energy bills and that a large proportion of people had significantly reduced their energy use.
"Our own Supporting You and Social Prescribing teams rate the Energy Advice service extremely highly and since January this year have made more than 600 referrals to the service for its specialist advice. Homes that are not heated properly can lead to people becoming ill, and so helping to continue this service will help look after the wellbeing of those need it most."
Date of release: 6 September 2023