Yorkshire charity helps cut fuel bills this winter

As energy bills soar and fears grow over fuel poverty, a trusted local charity is offering free advice and practical solutions that could save households hundreds of pounds.

Are your energy bills too high? Find out here.
Are your energy bills too high? Find out here.

Community charity Groundwork Yorkshire provides the Green Doctor service which has helped many people save more than £300 per year on their fuel costs, while one woman who took its advice saved more than £1,200.

The savings can mean the difference between keeping the heating and lights on this winter and ease the stress of money worries.

As part of Groundwork Yorkshire range of services, Green Doctor also provides money advice on, reducing fuel debt, cutting household bills and improving energy efficiency in the home.

It is particularly important right now, as households across the region brace themselves for rising energy costs this winter against a background of welfare benefit payments returning to pre-pandemic levels and record demand at food banks.

How the Green Doctor can help?

Green Doctor offers telephone consultations and home visits which help make the most of smart meters, grants and energy support, such as the Warm Home Discount Scheme* which offers £140 discount from energy suppliers to those identified as eligible.

It can also provide guidance on problems like mould and condensation, and access to boiler or insulation grants to help make homes warmer and more energy efficient.

Simon Kilshaw, Green Doctor Manager at Groundwork Yorkshire explained: “With some energy companies raising their prices by 38 per cent, we can help those living in cold conditions with accessing practical solutions such as installing smart meters and the Warm Home Discount Scheme to reduce your utility bills.

Experts can help you cut costs

“This Christmas many will be faced with a choice between heating the house or a hot meal. Our independent experts will help save money on your bills.”

One single parent made savings of more than £1,200 after being guided by the free advice service.

“If it wasn’t for Green Doctor I would still be crying,” she said.

The mum, called EJ, was referred to the charity by Manningham Housing Association.

During a phone consultation, she revealed the high cost of electricity, leading the Green Doctor expert to investigate further.

Further investigation revealed her emergency immersion heater switch was in the ‘on’ position - racing away with energy and pushing up electricity use to the equivalent of three households.

A Green Doctor spokesperson said a follow up call revealed her energy usage had dropped significantly, working out at six times less than her previous annual usage.

As well as a potential saving of over £981.92 per year, Green Doctor also helped EJ claim the Warm Homes Discount and Energy Redress vouchers – bringing the total savings to £1,249.92.

Green Doctor, with funding from Cadent Gas, is available for free to people living in rented, private or social housing across, Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham who meet the eligibility criteria and are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

To find out more, call Green Doctor on Freephone 0808 168 3547.

*Eligibility criteria applies.