Green Doctor scheme helps people keep warm

Join the fight against Fuel Poverty and support the Green Doctor in making a healthy home.

Groundwork green doctor Draught proofing 2This winter, 6.5 million people in the UK will struggle to afford the costs of keeping their homes warm. Environmental charity, Groundwork, has launched a nation wide initiative, to support people to take control of their fuel bills and ‘show winter who’s boss’.

Energy bills are the number one financial concern for households, with 66% of us thinking there’s little or nothing we can do about them according to a YouGov poll. This winter, Groundwork is urging people to think differently about their energy consumption and consider how they can use less, waste less and pay less, and through Groundwork’s Green Doctors, the charity is helping people take practical action to control their own energy use.  As a final part of this campaign, Groundwork is also seeking public support for its Green Doctor initiative to help the most vulnerable in society keep warm and stay well as the temperature plummets.

Mr Morrissey lives in Bramley, Leeds, in a hard to treat home which has solid walls and therefore cannot have cavity wall insulation. This means the property is hard to heat, he benefited from a visit from the Green Doctor and states;

“I thought everything was running efficiently, but after my Green Doctor visit I am now able to use the same amount of gas in a week, that I was using in four days. I’ve saved money and stayed warmer.”

Mat Roberts, Senior Climate Change Co-ordinator at Leeds Green Doctor Scheme explains how this new initiative works; “Our winter scheme is focused on helping people to take control through our expert advice and specialist initiatives. One sector of society we’d like to interact with is pensioners. Regardless of their financial situation, all pensioners receive a winter fuel allowance of between £100-£300 each year.

“Whilst we shouldn’t underestimate the value of this to those in real need, the reality is that the majority of the money goes to pensioners who arguably don’t need the help.  For those who don’t necessarily rely on this allowance we’d like them to donate it to those who are more vulnerable, regardless of their age.

“It’s not just pensioners who can donate their fuel allowance though, for every £100 donated by any individual or organisation, it will allow a Green Doctor to help a homeowner, whether that be a single parent, or a large family on a low income, to make sensible fuel choices, meaning they don’t have to face the stark choice of whether to heat their homes or buy food to eat, a dilemma we see too many people face during the winter months.”

Mr Morissey
Mr Morissey

In the last year, Leeds GreenDoctors have helped residents save over £28,000, visiting over 30 people each week, this year they’ve already visited 23% more homes and winter has only just begun. Once again, residents in Leeds are being urged to let The Green Doctor in to assess the energy efficiency of their home. The free service that the Green Doctors offer not only provides homes with a rigorous check up and energy saving advice, but the Doctors also install useful energy saving devices that help people keep warm and save over £100 a year on bills.

Mat Roberts continues; “Fuel poverty is when a household spends more than 10% of its income on electricity and gas. It can affect a wide range of people, large families and those of retirement age are particularly vulnerable, and it’s people like this that we’re committed to helping. We can fit energy efficient light bulbs, draught excluders, reflective radiator panels and TV and computer ‘power-downs’, to name just a few, all free of charge. These simple devices can reduce energy bills by 15% or more. It’s not just about saving money though, we also want to offer personal ‘patient’ advice on recycling and water usage for example, so people can make informed decisions in order to keep their home in shipshape condition.”

People can donate by visiting Any household claiming a disability or income related benefit can apply forhelp, with priority being given to single parents, families with children under 16 and the elderly. To arrange a visit or for more information, contact (0113) 238 0601.