Thenue to tackle fuel poverty head on with new advice initiative

Willy Sinclair, financial inclusion co-ordinator at Thenue (left) with Alan Crawford of Home Energy Scotland

Thenue Housing has announced a new link-up which will deliver advice to hundreds of tenants to help them save money and keep their homes warm.

The Association will work with Home Energy Scotland and One Parent Families Scotland to deliver a series of “financial education sessions” across its various communities.

Thenue said fuel poverty remains one of the biggest issues affecting tenants due to soaring energy bills over the last decade.

Almost half of Thenue tenants surveyed in last year’s customer service survey (47%) said they spent 11-20% of their household income on fuel use. A further 12% said more than 20% was allocated to energy.

This prompted Thenue to think carefully about how it would address the issue – proving again the usefulness of customer satisfaction surveys to identify and allow action to be taken on issues of pressing concern to tenants.

One further statistic from the survey revealed that almost half (47%) had never switched supplier or tariff.

Now Thenue’s link-up with Home Energy Scotland and One Parent Families Scotland will endeavour to tackle the issue.

Gail Gribben, income maximisation manager at Thenue, said: “This is an important development because it will allow us to provide free and impartial advice on how to help our tenants save energy and save money. Help will also be offered if needed to owners of homes factored by Thenue.

“The sessions will also cover budgeting, how to avoid getting into debt, identifying the cheapest form of credit and home energy and benefit advice.”

Home Energy Scotland recently paid a visit to Thenue to address staff about the work it does.

Charles Turner, chief executive of Thenue, said: “The information from our 2017 customer satisfaction survey was a revealing insight into how our tenants are spending huge amounts of their income keeping their homes warm.

“Thenue has been working hard to improve insulation on properties where we can by re-cladding buildings to make them energy-efficient. We greatly value the willingness of Home Energy Scotland and One Parent Families to work with us as we roll out this new initiative across the communities we serve.”

Home Energy Scotland, funded by Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust, provides free, impartial advice to help people make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

One Parent Families Scotland provides help to all single parent families, mums, dads, young parents and kinship carers.