The aim of Energyextra is to provide its members with an opportunity to maximise their household income, promote energy efficiency and alleviate fuel poverty.
Energyextra operates on a membership basis, and currently has over 68,000 members, which include both tenants and private homeowners. The majority of the members so far have come from the void referral agreement with its partners. Other members have joined following advice from word of mouth or partner’s staff. Membership is available to staff members, as well as new and existing tenants.
Energyextra has a team of dedicated home energy advisors, whose role is to visit tenants and other members in their own homes, and give advice on a range of subjects. These will include operating new and existing heating systems, understanding of energy meters and the various payment options, and general advice on how to reduce fuel consumption in the home. They will also be able to advise on how to alleviate condensation, and provide the landlord with valuable stock condition information following the visit.
There is also a completely impartial advice service, for tenants who are looking for a cheaper energy provider. On the spot accurate comparisons can be made using actual consumption information, and support and guidance is available throughout the entire switching process to ensure the customer understands what is happening.
We have recently added information concerning water efficiency, and can advise on efficiency measures to reduce the costs of water in the home.
We also offer a service where we can use our expertise in the energy industry to intervene on the tenant’s behalf if there is a dispute. In the case of debt, we will make sure the debt is accurate and has been allocated to the correct tenant, and then negotiate a payment plan on behalf of the tenant. In certain circumstances we would assess the tenant’s eligibility for grant funding aimed at paying off energy and water debts, and providing essential household appliances, applying on the tenants behalf. Referrals to appropriate rebates such as the Warm Homes Discount are also made, resulting in free grants of up to £135 per year for vulnerable clients. Advice on using energy efficiently is then given, to try and avoid additional debt in the future.
We work closely with other local agencies to maximise the help and advice given to a household. These partners include local credit unions, who can help clients set up basic bank accounts to take advantage of direct debit discounts. West Midlands Fire Service, who can visit homes free of charge to carry out a fire safety assessment visit, and a range of other partners.
We have also developed a series of energy related training packages aimed at both increasing the understanding of energy usage for key staff and also householders and community groups.
These packages cover a number of topics, including how to use internet web sites to change energy provider, and the information needed and timescales involved, advice on using pre payment meters, including how to avoid staying out of debt, and information on extra services offered to vulnerable households by Utility companies. The training can be tailored to individual needs and can vary from a one hour basic introduction to a half day, in depth training aimed at staff and community groups.
Click here to view membership charge information.
The key objectives of Energyextra are to address the issue of fuel poverty, increase household income, and promote energy efficiency. By offering an easy method of accessing cheaper fuel for tenants and other members, with the full support and backup of Energyextra, it is possible to make a real difference.