Energy advisor fuels savings
Energy Advisor Lisa Hilton with Affordablw Warmth Officer Michelle Melvin
Riverside has appointed a dedicated Energy Advisor in North Bransholme in a bid to stamp out fuel poverty.
Lisa Hilton, whose post is funded by Eon for 12 months, will work on a one to one basis with tenants, offering them advice that could save them energy and ultimately cut their bills.
Lisa – originally from Wales but now living in North Bransholme with her husband and three children – is looking forward to the challenge.
She said: “With the welfare benefits reform looming, householders are being forced to tighten their belts but nobody should have to sacrifice heating to put food on the table. My aim is to advise tenants on small changes that could make a big difference to their pockets.”
She added: “North Bransholme residents are benefitting from gas central heating for the first time so one of my roles is to make sure tenants are getting the best use out of their new energy efficient boilers.
“I’m also going to show our residents how to compare energy tariffs to ensure they’re getting the best deal and help them understand complex fuel bills to make sure they know exactly what they are paying. Many residents won’t realise that energy companies often rely on estimates to produce their bills so I want to raise awareness of the importance of reading their own meters.
“It’s also possible that a large number of residents’ accounts will be in credit and they may not even know that their energy company owes them money let alone know how to claim it back.”
As well as ensuring tenants are getting value for money, Lisa will be involved in focus groups to evaluate the Community Energy Saving Programme. This saw around 1150 homes on the estate benefit from energy efficiency improvements including cavity wall insulation, improved loft insulation and draught proofing measures.
Riverside became one of the first housing associations in the UK to appoint Affordable Warmth Officers two years ago and this week they have been mentoring Lisa as she job shadowed them. As well as on-the-job training, Lisa is also looking forward to doing her National Energy Action City and Guilds Accreditation.