Monmouthshire County Council
In March 2006, the South East Wales Energy Agency (supported by Newport City Council and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, both providing a small financial contribution) secured £47,500 over two years to run the Healthy Homes scheme.
Under the scheme, each of these councils receive eight days attendance over two years at events such as local shows, older person's information days and at market stalls. At these events a trained advisor from the Energy Agency provides information on energy efficiency and takes referrals for grants to provide cavity wall and/or loft insulation and heating repairs.
Each Council also receives 20 training sessions lasting one hour covering fuel poverty, its causes and solutions. Trainees learn how and why to refer someone into the Healthy Homes scheme. These training sessions are aimed at key workers such as health staff, council grants staff, voluntary workers and charities working with vulnerable people. Once a person is referred to the Healthy Homes scheme a member of staff takes all the required information and decides on the most suitable grant scheme for the client. The client is then sent a letter explaining the scheme they have been entered into and the next stage in the process. Staff monitor the referrals on a regular basis to ensure the measures are installed as quickly as possible. Once informed that the work is complete, the Energy Agency sends a feedback letter to evaluate customer satisfaction.
The Healthy Homes team also researches charity and benevolent funding to provide measures for people unable to use existing schemes. An example of this is a recent grant of £500 made by the Midwifery Benevolent Fund to a woman in Merthyr Tydfil who was unable to afford loft and cavity wall insulation.
Since its launch Healthy Homes has secured additional funding of £60,000 from the Scottish Power Energy People Trust to provide a crisis fund for those residents of Newport or Merthyr Tydfil who are not eligible for existing grant schemes or require measures not covered by existing schemes (EST Annual Review 2005/2006). This fund covers items such as hot-water tank jackets, heating repairs and temporary or replacement heating.
Since the launch of the Healthy Homes Scheme, three other councils (Bridgend County Borough Council, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council) have joined the project by making a small financial contribution.These councils will receive up to 10 briefing sessions each year for their choice of staff.