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West Northumberland CAB Welcomes Guy Opperman MP to Fuel Poverty Project


MP Guy Opperman, today (Thursday, August 16, 2012) visited West Northumberland Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Hexham to find out firsthand how it is striving to create affordable warmth for all.

West Northumberland Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has been awarded £28,214 by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to continue its work helping to alleviate fuel poverty through its Fuel Energy project.

The CAB received the funding to continue with its very successful two year ‘Fuel Energy’ pilot project.  The initial project was awarded £19,209 and was able to maximise client incomes by more than £124,000 through benefits health checks, accessing grants and helping clients to access the best tariff to suit their individual needs.  As the initiative proved so successful it has been awarded funding for a second time.

The new project began in March 2012 and is aiming to help a further 660 people to maximise their finances. The aim is to offer energy efficiency advice enabling residents to claim benefits they are entitled to and sustain their energy payments.

As part of the continuing ‘Fuel Energy’ initiative West Northumberland CAB’s caseworker will deal exclusively with fuel poverty via home visits and CAB outlets. Residents seeking support will be able to access personalised energy assessments as well as benefit health checks.  Through the advice services the project will work to ensure that residents are claiming what they are entitled to, helping families to maximise their incomes. 

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust Company Secretary, said:

“We’re very pleased to support West Northumberland CAB and fund its Fuel Energy project for a second time as it aims to support the individual needs of more than 600 people and families in the area.

“Ordinary families are affected by fuel poverty when more than 10% of their income is spent on energy usage.  We work to create affordable warmth for all and alleviate the causes of poverty through grassroots charities including the Citizens Advice Bureau.

“West Northumberland CAB has been successful in providing local residents with essential services to help people in need find stability and support. It’s great to see that our initial funding has significantly helped many people in the area and we’re sure that this excellent work will continue to help residents become more independent by alleviating their fuel poverty.”

Roger Braybrook, Manager of West Northumberland Citizens Advice Bureau, said:

“We would like to thank ScottishPower Energy People Trust once again for its ongoing support.  This funding has enabled us to reach vulnerable residents to help them reduce their energy bills and work to ease their financial concerns and worries. We have also helped them find extra income from unclaimed benefits they are entitled to through a tailored approach for each individual.”

“West Northumberland residents can contact us by calling 01434 607611 or by emailing  to set up a one-to-one appointment to discuss their concerns and how best to tackle them.”

Hexham MP Guy Opperman, said: "'I was delighted to work with the CAB to ensure they secured the funding for this very important project.  Fuel poverty is a huge issue across Tynedale and one I have campaigned on for almost two years. I hope that this project will help provide advice and assistance to those struggling in fuel poverty and I know the West Northumberland CAB will do an excellent job of delivering it.”

To date, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has awarded more than £10million to more than 200 community based projects and has helped in excess of 1.6 million people across Britain through projects which are designed and delivered to reduce fuel poverty.

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity funded by ScottishPower and through voluntary donations from individual supporters.

For further information on the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, please visit