ACT on Energy is marking 25 years of supporting households across the region with expert energy advice – and its role has never been more vital.
The award-winning charity focuses on delivering more energy efficient homes and tackling rising rates of fuel poverty, while providing free and impartial advice to residents across Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands.
Chief executive officer, Rachel Jones said: “This is an important milestone to recognise, but we’re incredibly mindful that the current energy crisis means this is no time for a traditional celebration.
“With fuel poverty rates higher than ever, and so many people struggling with their energy bills, what we are celebrating is the dedication and support that we’ve been able to offer thousands of people.
“Last year we helped more than 24,000 households. That support often means the difference between heating and eating and enabling people to live in a warmer and safer home.
“I’m extremely proud of the team who have been a lifeline to so many, over the last 12 months in particular. The number of contacts in the last year alone more than doubled the previous year’s record. We know our services are in demand, but sadly, there’s no end in sight for people struggling with how to heat their homes affordably and safely.”
“The support we deliver in terms of energy efficiency advice and grant support is needed more now than ever as we tackle the climate crisis and head towards net zero targets.
“But it’s our support on the fuel poverty side that has grown beyond recognition. I’m incredibly proud that Act on Energy has been at the centre of supporting people through this energy crisis over the past 18 months.
“Unfortunately, there is no end in sight. Despite energy bills falling slightly, there won’t be the government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme this winter, so we’re expecting more people than ever to need our help.
“And whether that’s fuel vouchers, debt payments, energy efficiency advice or grant support for installation works, we’ll be continuing to help people right across the region.”
Leader of Stratford District Council, Coun Susan Juned – who is also a trustee of the charity – marked the occasion by officially opening the new Act on Energy head office at Pitchill near Evesham.
Susan was actually the driving force behind the charity which started life in 1998 by Stratford District Council as the Warwickshire Energy Efficiency Advice Centre based at Wellesbourne.
Susan said “When we launched 25 years ago, our goal was to help drive energy efficiency improvements across Warwickshire.
“I’m proud that in all that time, we’ve been at the forefront of improving people’s lives and homes. So much so, that we grew beyond our initial geographical base and expanded across Worcestershire and the entire West Midlands Combined Authority areas.
“Our longevity and growth are testament to our successes in helping people across the entire region. We have developed significant partnerships with more than 20 local authorities to deliver expert energy advice, as well as developing projects for our partners such as National Grid and Cadent.”
For further information visit www.actonenergy.org.uk or call the freephone number (available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) on 0800 988 2881.