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Why high-quality, holistic energy advice, isn’t just for grown ups.

Warm Homes

Citizens Advice Essex, Friday, August 19th 2022

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Living in a cold home has a profound impact on children.

While recent policies and initiatives have rightly focused attention on the needs of older people, or those with disabilities, targeting advice services on people in fuel poverty who have or look after children, especially the under-fives, can bring real benefits, especially given the long-term impact that a cold home can have on a child’s long term prospects.

It’s known that cold, damp conditions exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma and also impact upon educational outcomes. Younger families especially, are more likely to be living in rented accommodation. Social landlords should, but often don’t maintain properties to a good standard. In the private sector, tenants often feel reluctant to pursue matters relating to their home’s poor standard of repair.

For these reasons, Citizens Advice Essex, the consortium body for the Citizens Advice service across Essex, Southend and Thurrock, provides an intensive energy advice service aimed at people with dependent children.

Even if, in the short or even medium-term, it’s going to be hard to do something about the energy efficiency of our client’s home, we often find that addressing the other root causes of fuel poverty; low or unstable incomes, unmanageable personal debt, or under claimed benefits, can have a more immediate impact on the household and that’s why our capabilities in these areas are front and centre of our approach.

We’re grateful to the Energy Redress Fund for funding our work in this area.

If you, or a family you know, needs our help in this area, call our dedicated Warm Homes Helpline on 0300 3033 789.

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