A client was referred to LEAP after struggling with her energy bills for months. She stated that she felt powerless over her bills and had previously gained support from her energy supplier’s Trust Fund.
One of our expert energy advisors visited her and quickly identified the issue; her old fridge-freezer was using a considerable amount of money to run. The advisor sat down with her and explained how to work out the running costs for each appliance. She now finds this easy to calculate herself. By following the advisor’s guidance and swapping out the old fridge-freezer for a more energy efficient one, she was able to save so much money that she was able to pay off the credit agreement for the appliance much earlier than expected. She is now using the money to buy more energy efficient appliances.
The resident also stated that her kitchen was the coldest room in the house. The advisor found that this was due to heat loss through her windows. The advisor recommended that she put insulating film over the windows. The resident did and found this drastically reduced the heat loss in kitchen so put it over the windows in other rooms too. This has led to her putting on the heating less, saving her money.
The advisor spoke to the resident about her personal situation and realised that she was eligible for a cap on her water bill. With all the help that LEAP has provided, the resident has saved so much money that she doesn’t need to apply for the Trust Fund again.
A HELPING HAND
Ms B was referred to us by EDDC as her bills were very high and she was getting non-payment letters from her supplier. We arranged to carry out a LEAP home visit, during which we took meter readings, contacted her fuel company regarding the status of her application for Fuel Direct. We arranged for them to stop sending letters as she was clearly taking steps to rectify the situation.
We established that her high electricity usage was due to her immersion heater over-heating every night, leaving her with scalding hot water every day. The thermostat was defective and needed replacing. We contacted the Housing Association, and they responded quickly, identified the problem and replaced the parts required.
During the visit we also replaced the old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, draught proofed her front door with a door brush and added adhesive-backed foam strips. We checked her night storage heating settings and gave her some behavioural advice around clothes drying.
Ms B needed a new washing machine and cooker. The advisor referred her to LEAP’s Appliance Scheme, and she received a new washing machine. We were able to signpost her to her local council, who were able to help with a new cooker. She also required help to apply to the local Household Support Fund for assistance with a new tumble dryer and carpeting, which we helped her with.
STAYING WARM IN WINTER
Mr and Mrs S are a couple in their late 80s. Mrs S felt very overwhelmed as Mr S has dementia and their boiler was leaking. Mrs S is Mr S’ carer.
She contacted LEAP and told us about the boiler. We carried out a home visit and was able to help not only with the boiler after they were referred to LEAP’s Boiler Scheme, and also helped with many other types of energy support.
Their freezer was old and broken, so we arranged for a free fridge freezer from LEAP’s Appliance scheme, and organised a fire service safety visit as their smoke alarms were broken. A local benefits advisor is helping them to claim Carers Allowance, which will help towards all the taxi costs they have. They live at the top of a hill so it’s difficult to walk back from the shops.
The advisor realised that the energy bill was wrong. The supplier was trying to take payment for the communal area of the flats where they live. We intervened and got the supplier to rectify the mistake which alleviated a lot of stress. We helped them to order a smart meter to avoid further issues.
We identified that they qualify for a discount on their water bill and left a form for them to complete, and also gave them information about borrowing from the council to help them pay for much needed window improvements.
Finally, we gave them lots of advice to help them save energy and money and we fitted some free energy saving lightbulbs and some draughtproofing.
Since the visit, we have also helped them to access some support from Age Concern. They were struggling to keep warm whilst waiting for the boiler installation, so Age UK took them round some temporary heaters and hot water bottles.
Now Mr and Mrs S are able to feel safe and stay warm in their own home and keep their energy costs down.
FREE GAS BOILER
When Mrs McCafferty called LEAP for help, she was wondering what on earth to do about her broken boiler. As a senior citizen living alone in a 2-bed flat in Glasgow, she was really suffering in the cold.
Fortunately LEAP now has funding to help Scottish residents in these circumstances. One of LEAP’s professional Home Energy Advisors visited Mrs McCafferty at home and provided energy efficiency advice and installed free energy saving radiator panels and LED lightbulbs. Having confirmed the boiler was indeed broken, LEAP then quickly arranged for Mrs M. to have a brand-new gas boiler fitted completely free of charge! Mrs M. qualified for the scheme because she is a low income pensioner, but there are a range of ways to qualify for all sorts of households.
Mrs McCafferty was delighted after receiving her new free gas boiler and small energy saving measures.
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