1 incidents
    Loss of gas – Ingham 10 Jul 2024 12: 30 PM

    Warm Homes Network

    Utilities, Charities, Local Government, and Tech companies have come together to launch a major new fuel poverty initiative. The new Warm Homes Network is being piloted in Birmingham from August and Cumbria from October, ahead of a wider roll-out in 2024.

    Working in collaboration with National Grid, Northern Gas Networks and others, and supported by consultancy Sia Partners, the initiative will apply a partnership approach that looks to join up the support available for those struggling due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.


    What is the aim of the initiative?

    We are looking to combine funding pots, best practice and delivery mechanisms to develop a “one-stop-shop” that delivers a complete range of support for  customers experiencing financial vulnerability.

    • With the ongoing cost of living crisis and ahead of winter 2023, we, along with major organisations in the energy sector and beyond, are looking at how we can help consumers impacted by rising household bills.
    • By working together we can  join up the support available, which is often delivered by a range of delivery partners making it hard to access, into a single 'one-stop-shop' funded through a combined pot of regulated (Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA)) and non-regulated (philanthropic) funding. By providing all advice and measures necessary under one roof, we aim to make it as simple as possible for customers to receive any support they require.
    • The Warm Homes Network expects to save households an average of £3,000 each. It's estimated that through the Birmingham pilot alone, consumers will see benefits of more than £580k combined.

    How will the service be delivered?

    Customers will be referred from local authorities and local organisations into a 'single point of contact' that will act as a triage service, conducting an initial assessment of need before referring customers on to the appropriate organisations delivering the specialised services they require.

    • The 'single point of contact’ will act as a case worker, taking customers from their initial needs assessments, through to referrals and then gather feedback once the services are delivered.
    • Delivery partners will cover a personalised range of services including vital guidance on energy efficiency and low carbon technology measures advice and installation, benefit entitlement and debt advice.
    • The Warm Homes Network pilot in Birmingham will support up to 200 customers living in the most vulnerable situations.

    Who is involved?

    The Warm Homes Network is bringing together organisations to collectively provide free and direct support to customers. Charities are set to offer services where they are best placed according to their unique expertise.

    • Strategic partners for the Birmingham pilot include the Cadent Foundation, Northern Gas Networks, National Grid and Sia Partners. 
    • Delivery partners for the Birmingham Pilot include Birmingham City Council, Groundwork West Midlands, YES Energy Solutions, Pennysmart CIC and National Energy Action (NEA). 
    • Support partners for the Birmingham Pilot have included Nechells POD, Aston Villa Foundation, Google and Egnida Innovations.
    • The upcoming rural pilot in Cumbria, set to launch in September, will involve further local partners that are still being finalised. 
    • It is expected more organisations will join the programme as it rolls out.

    Our delivery partners

    Birmingham City Council

    The Council will engage with customers and channel referrals of eligible customers in need of support through to the single point of contact.

    Groundwork UK

    Groundwork will act as the single point of contact, carrying out need assessments, handing customers to delivery partners, and collecting feedback on 'closing' cases.

    YES Energy Solutions

    YES will support on energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies advice and installations including measures, home improvements, access to funding, behaviour change and LCT readiness.

    National Energy Action (NEA)

    NEA will support with income maximisation and benefits advice such as benefits checks and assistance with form filling if required.

    Pennysmart CIC

    Pennysmart will support customers with money management and debt advice as an accredited Debt Advisor.

    What will happen next?

    The Warm Homes Network will offer organisations passionate with a new and innovative way of delivering support at a time of unprecedent hardship for millions of vulnerable households.

    Our work will be initially focussed on ensuring households across Birmingham and Cumbria can access the full range of support offered through the Warm Homes Network pilots in Autumn/Winter 2023.

    Longer term, the Birmingham and Cumbria pilots will provide invaluable learning that will help the Warm Homes Network to effectively expand its support to many more communities in 2024.

    Organisations interested in learning more about the delivery and funding opportunities offered by the Warm Homes Network can contact Edward Allard ([email protected]) and Nye Gordon ([email protected])

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