After the initial success of Totnes Keeping Warm, TTT is continuing to work with Totnes Caring and South Hams Citizens Advice Bureau on the project which helps older and vulnerable people in fuel poverty with advice, support and practical assistance to reduce their energy bills and increase the energy efficiency of their homes.
Totnes Caring refers households and, after a home visit from Transition Town Totnes, the help offered is tailored to the particular needs of the householders involved, but could include checking that they are on the most advantageous energy tariffs, advice and assistance to manage energy debts; carrying out simple but effective energy efficiency measure such as draught-proofing free of charge; assistance accessing grants for further measures such as boiler replacement and cavity wall insulation; income maximisation advice and assistance from the CAB.
The initial project to support 25 households was funded through a small Comic Relief grant from the Devon Community Foundation with some additional support from the Feed-in Tariff income from the solar panels on the Civic Hall. The project has now, thanks to support from Cllr. Robert Vint, received Devon County Council grants support totalling £1,200 and is in the process of seeking further funds.
We are now also now working with the Totnes Children’s Centre, so they can refer families to the project.
An important part of the project is the practical assistance offered to make simple, but effective energy efficiency changes and this requires a pool of handy people trained in draught proofing techniques etc. We are currently looking into the best ways to train further draught busters.