SSEN Distribution and CSE team up to tackle fuel poverty across central southern England

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) have joined forces to launch the SSEN Energy Advisor Programme, helping people stay warm and spend less, while providing support organisations with assistance to tackle fuel poverty. 

The programme, which runs until March 2022, is calling on health, welfare and other professionals to refer people - who may be living in cold homes and subject to high energy bills - to the new support service to save people money and tackle fuel poverty. By working in partnership, SSEN Distribution and CSE will provide substantial, in-depth and tailored advice to residents across central southern England.

The SSEN Energy Advisor Programme will also offer: 

  • Assistance in accessing funding for energy efficiency measures and energy improvements, such as insulation and heating systems - including broken boilers - through schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
  • Help to identify the causes of high bills, advice on understanding fuel bills and how to switch energy suppliers and fuel tariffs to keep bills affordable
  • Personalised advice on keeping warm and comfortable at home for less, including benefits entitlement, Warm Home Discount applications and managing energy debt, alongside assistance in resolving issues with damp, mould and condensation
  • Signing customers up to SSEN’s Priority Services Register for free, additional assistance in the event of power cuts.

The SSEN Energy Advisor Programme includes its own dedicated phone number and email address that customers and support organisations can use to contact CSE’s advisors.

The programme is set up to support over 800 households through one-off phone conversations and in-depth casework, and is exploring the possibility of home visits when coronavirus restrictions are eased. Customers and stakeholders are encouraged to find out more and enrol for the programme through the CSE website, or by calling 0800 038 6345 or emailing ssenenergyadvisor@cse.org.uk.

Lyndsey Stainton, SSEN’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement said:

“I’m delighted that SSEN Distribution and CSE have been able to join forces to provide this additional level of service and supportfor our customers. Our stakeholders have highlighted the need for more direct support to help customers keep warm for less this coming winter due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We’ve worked together for several years, using SSEN’s specially designed Customer Mapping Tool to highlight areas where incomes are low, properties are poorly insulated and many residents aren’t yet registered for our Priority Services Register.

“CSE has now taken this data, overlaying additional information and identifying areas where there is currently a lack of support. This combined resource ensures we are providing help where it’s most needed, without duplicating existing services.”

Speaking about the new service, Cora Paine of CSE said:

“Cold homes cause misery, ill-health and social exclusion, but often people don’t know where to turn for support. Our new service will support people; those who are interested in funding for insulation or heating systems, struggling with energy bills, living in a home that is cold, damp or draughty, unsure about how to best use heating systems or find it confusing.

“CSE has been working to support SSEN’s vulnerable customers for a number of years, including signing customers up to their Priority Services Register and we’re excited to continue developing this service.”

If you or someone you know could benefit from the service, please visit the CSE website here. You can also call 0800 038 6345 or email ssenenergyadvisor@cse.org.uk.

In addition, SSEN has extended the PSR eligibility criteria to those who are categorised at ‘high risk’ and ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus. Customers are also eligible for SSEN's free priority services if they: 

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60
  • Temporarily require extra support

SSEN produces its Priority Services Register leaflets in 11 different languages; all of which are also available to read and download from its website. To find out more, please go to www.ssen.co.uk/psr or call 0800 294 3259.

About the author

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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