Helping fight fuel poverty

I’ve recently joined the fight against fuel poverty. Millions of households are struggling to keep their home warm, damp and mould-free with rising fuel costs.

To tackle these problems and fight fuel poverty National Energy Action (NEA) run a three-day course leading to the NEA/City & Guilds 6281-01 Level 3 Award in Energy Awareness.

I’ve recently completed the course and thankfully passed.

The aim of the course is to be able to advise people on how to use heating controls effectively, understand fuel usage and to keep their home warmer.

I’m now happy to say I’m confident I can do this.

After completing this course I understand where heat loss occurs in different properties, measures to tackle this and how to keep the heat in as well as what fuel poverty is.

This knowledge is fantastic and I’m already passing it on through work and to friends and family to help them too.

I’ve lived in a very cold, draughty student house which suffered with dampness, condensation and manky mould.

If only I’d known how to keep the house warm, cut down condensation and get rid of the dampness it would’ve made my final year at uni a lot easier.

When I lived in lovely Lincolnshire I struggled to heat my flat in the city centre because I didn’t understand the controls on the electric storage heaters. But now I know what the input and output controls do.

Every time I’ve moved house I’ve had to get to grips with a different type of meter for my gas and electricity and it isn’t always easy to read them. I now know how to identify different meters and how to take accurate readings.

Being able to provide accurate meter readings to your supplier puts an end to estimated bills which can cause havoc for people – especially during the colder months when you’re using more fuel to keep warm.

The course is intense because there’s a lot to learn but it’s all really relevant and useful.

I’m keeping the accompanying Energy Advice in the Home tenth edition booklet close by for future reference, as it’s a fantastic resource.

Energy Advice in the Home booklet

Energy Advice in the Home booklet which accompanies the course.

Although I’m not a front-line adviser the knowledge I’ve gained is useful not only for work but in a personal capacity too.

I’d absolutely recommend this course to anyone who is working with clients who struggle with their fuel bills, keeping warm and the variety of issues that come with living in a cold, damp and mouldy home.

Once you’ve completed the course you’ll be armed with the knowledge to be able to make a difference to people living in fuel poverty.

The Macmillan Energy Advice Team also completed the course which I’ve discussed in a previous blog. 

You can also find me on Twitter @rachael_stray

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62 thoughts on “Helping fight fuel poverty

  1. Sodiq says:

    Me and my team are also working on something similar to this. In most part of the world, energy and electricity are highly needed and we can always depend on the government to provide dem all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Flossie says:

    This sounds like such a great course! I wish they had something like this where I live. Even with newer houses (ours was built in 1985) there is so much heat loss when things turn colder, and we struggle to make the upgrades that will help with this – we’ve done the easy things already but are now on to the more expensive ones like new windows. And for people who rent instead of owning, you’re at the mercy of your landlord to make these upgrades – yeah, right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • rachaelstray says:

      Thanks lovely. The trainers travel all over the UK to do the course but it’s aimed at frontline workers really. I will share some of what I’ve learned that will hopefully help others in future blog posts.


  3. anhistorianabouttown says:

    When I lived in Ireland for a year, I found it incredibly confusing to have a metre right there, And also that people may not have heat for a variety of reasons! Because where I live it routinely gets to -45°C, you MUST have your heat running properly, no ifs, ands, or buts about it! The govt also can’t cut it off, which is an important “safety feature”. Is geothermal heating a thing there?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mickey Randall says:

    The entire planet is reeling under energy challenges. Apparently where I live in Adelaide we now have the most expensive electricity in the world. I was a bit shocked when a colleague- I work in a comfortable job writing and managing curriculum- told me how his family had to enter into an instalment plan to pay their power bill.

    Well done to you on taking this action. As always finding smarter ways to live is a key, but not the only one here.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. notebooksandglasses says:

    This is such a good idea. I didn’t know courses like this existed. Due to my pain I’d struggle to do a face-to-face course but maybe they do an online version. I shall look in to it. Thanks for sharing about it. And congratulations on passing ⭐️ Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. josypheen says:

    It can be tough to get to grips with a new heating system whenever you move! It’s great that you’re a bit of an expert now! You’ll be able to help so many people. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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