Innovation Exchange

Energy Advocacy Service

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

The Energy Advocacy Service provides face to face support to vulnerable householders in their homes to resolve complex energy issues which are not addressed in national service provision.  For example debt, disputes with suppliers, meter issues and applications for Warmer Homes Scotland works.

 

Theme: Housing and Regeneration

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  • Universal referral path through an email portal which all advocates and other relevant staff have access to.  The incoming emails are monitored and responded to within 24 hours.
  • Self-referral mechanisms where members of the public can contact the team by phone, through Council advice services, Council general contact number and local offices.
  • Face-to-face service, visiting people’s homes and gaining valuable insight into clients needs and then offering targeted advice.
  • The advocates work in partnership with other service providers such as the foodbank, RSL providers, NHS and social work services.  The partnerships with NHS and social work providers such as mental health services has proven to be mutually beneficial and ensured an enhanced service provision to clients.
  • The advocates can resolve energy issues that are causing stress for clients with poor mental health and act as a door opening for the mental health officer who can offer support that clients are not otherwise picking up.

The headline benefits are 827 clients visited over a 12 month period which saved over £225,000 for clients. The value of the savings exceeds the cost of providing the service.  The greatest benefit arises from the joint working with partner organisations. The advocates can resolve energy issues that are causing stress for clients with poor mental health and act as a door opening for the mental health officer who can offer support that clients are not otherwise picking up

It is challenging to identify the most appropriate groups within the NHS and Social Work Service that have a client base that would benefit from the advocacy service.

 

The Council has addressed this through ensuring that there is a personal relationship between the service providers, and as quickly as possible demonstrating to all front line staff the client benefits that can accrue from these partnerships.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Ron Mould

Energy Officer (Communities)

Renfrewshire Council

0141 618 6076

Case study added to site: June 2016

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