The Energy Advice Project is a new and innovative approach to helping vulnerable energy consumers in the Stirling Council Area. It is unique, in that Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is reaching out to the people who need help, rather than expecting to find them at specific events. The Energy Advice Service moves beyond the traditional ‘advice’ only model typical of most CABs, to actually delivering change with a capital budget and strong referral relationships to more specialist energy advisors.
Stirling CAB is well-known and trusted with a long-established local presence which can reach the most vulnerable consumers in Stirling and surrounding rural areas. The project is the accumulation of all our learning previously gained in helping people manage their energy consumption. To make a real difference, we realise our CAB must combine help in managing energy with physically making long-term changes in energy habits and consumption. We will therefore undertake home visits to inform on good energy practice as well as using a capital budget to make small physical changes to properties through a partnership with a volunteer handyman organisation “Volunteering Matters”. Where appropriate, our Energy Advice Service will refer appropriate clients to other expert organisations for specialist advice and/or infrastructure changes (e.g. new boilers). The proposal will improve the energy capacity and energy environment of 1200 adults in rural Stirling District each year for the duration of the project.
Roles & responsibilities
The Energy Advice Worker will:
Provide independent and trusted energy advice to vulnerable people in Stirling and surrounding rural area.
Provide a 2nd tier consultancy support service to build the energy advice capacity of the front line Stirling CAB advice services & support partner agencies
Engage with people encountering problems with their utility suppliers and those in short and long-term financial crisis & resolve their utility debts
Promote, encourage and empower local people who have yet to engage the Home Energy Scotland Warmer Homes Scheme
Facilitate the installation of minor energy saving measures in people’s home (e.g. LED Bulbs), using our partner ‘handyman’ service
Provide a tariff switching service for vulnerable people
Train volunteer workers to provide continuity in assistance.
· Actively participating in and influencing stakeholder groups, e.g. Tackling Poverty and Inequality Group, Fuel/Energy Policy Forums and other relevant frontline workers’ groups, in consultation with the Bureau Manager
The direct beneficiaries of this service will be Stirling District residents who are struggling to fund, manage or fully understand their utility bills and energy usage.
Our service will be open to all who seek the help of CAB in Stirling, but also those with whom we can engage through the additionality of attendance at the two local food banks, library based outreach services in rural Stirlingshire and via our partnership with Hanover Housing Association.
While the service is available to everyone, we specifically expect to focus on those who are vulnerable or are less capable of effectively managing their energy usage and those who have not yet engaged with Home Energy Scotland to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Our approach is to be easily accessible across the whole district via the food bank, library outreach, home visits, CAB internal & external stakeholder referral, Sheltered Housing clinic & our Tariff switching sessions.
The Energy Advice Service focus is vulnerable consumers irrespective of their housing tenure primarily:
• Older People
• People with disabilities Low income families with young children
• Vulnerable people in fuel poverty
• People in hard to heat homes
In understanding the needs of the target audience & the approach to engage (as well as the design of our service), the Stirling CAB Energy Advice Service has paid attention to the key barriers & best practice guidance within the OFGEM Consumer Vulnerability Strategy.
To break the cycle of food bank dependency by building financial capacity, energy capability and independent living skills within the target community; reducing social isolation, tackling poverty and inequality, reducing social drift, building community cohesion and developing community capacity and resilience.
Roles & responsibilities
The post-holder will support TRI (Tackling Rural Isolation) Outreach Support Service users to achieve increased financial capacity, become energy capable and develop independent living skills, by providing bespoke advice, support & advocacy as follows:
• Social prescribing & assistance to access further support to address underlying vulnerabilities such as loneliness, mental health, addiction, chaotic lifestyles, offending behaviours.
• Support to better integrate into the local community to address social & economic isolation and loneliness.
• Support for developing financial confidence and responsible financial management, improving independent living skills.
• Assistance with mitigating the impact of welfare reforms and maximising income.
• Help with financial and digital inclusion: support to access bank accounts & to digitally access cheaper services to free up income and build digital capacity, confidence and savings.
• Support to access appropriate affordable borrowing; to explain implications of borrowing; and to access debt resolution strategies.
• Support to access, efficiently use and manage economically viable energy provision.
Additional responsibilities include:
• Managing and providing support and direction to the volunteer Finance/Energy Capacity/Life Skills Workers on the TRI (Tackling Rural Isolation) Outreach Support Service, in consultation with the Food Capacity Worker/Support Worker and Bureau Manager.
• Developing procedures, tools and service delivery methods, providing feedback as necessary on areas where there are issues or room for improvement, in consultation with the Food Capacity Worker/Support Worker and Bureau Manager.
• Adapting Stirling CAB’s training and assessment methods, and updating training as needed on a continuous basis, in order to provide appropriate training for volunteers and enable outcome tracking.
• Recruiting, training and managing a team of volunteers to be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the service and to be involved in shaping its future.
• Consulting with TRI staff and volunteers regarding individual clients’ progress.
• Provide quarterly reports on progress to the TRI working group, and feedback to the funder in accordance with their procedures.
• Developing and managing the partnership with Start Up Stirling, ensuring partner liaison and feedback.
• Assessing capacity-building outcomes, linked to the key review stages agreed for each TRI client.
• Gathering and analysing TRI client feedback and reviewing the capacity building methodology being utilised, in consultation with the Food Capacity Worker/Support Worker and Bureau Manager.
• Actively participating in and influencing stakeholder groups, e.g. Tackling Poverty and Inequality Group, Adult Education and other relevant frontline workers’ groups, in consultation with the Food Capacity Worker/Support Worker and Bureau Manager
• Reviewing outcomes and developing options for the extension of the project to other areas of need within Stirling District, in consultation with the Food Capacity Worker/Support Worker and Bureau Manager.
Management / Business Skills
1st November 2016
Do you want to help the community where you live, work or study by getting involved in running an important Stirling charity? Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau is the best known advice service in Stirlingshire, helping those in distress. We are a volunteer-led organisation, w… Read more