Fuel poverty has for a long time been the unwanted sibling of the green family. Outrageously, at least two people died of fuel poverty last year in Brighton and Hove; many more suffer from a lack of affordable power – often unknown and uncomplaining.

While here at BEC we’ve concentrated on building renewable energy systems, our sister organisation – BHESCO – has been making great strides in this area. Recently BHESCO has won several awards for their work on fuel poverty:  advising on bill switching and putting in remedial measures and acting as an advocate for people for whom the system simply doesn’t work.

As winter approaches you can support this great work. One of the difficulties in tackling fuel poverty is finding those affected – they tend to be living alone, elderly, and not particularly internet-savvy.

In one home recently surveyed by BHESCO, a Brighton resident - unable to afford winter heating - slept in a tent at night .

In one home recently surveyed by BHESCO, a Brighton resident – unable to afford winter heating – slept in a tent at night .

By keeping an eye out we can help spot people at risk. Please have a think about the following, and if you think you might know someone in fuel poverty, then drop BHESCO a line on info@bhesco.co.uk.

Look out for these signs:

  • The person live alone
  • They have a persistent cough or cold
  • Their home is uncomfortably cold and draughty
  • They spend more than 10% of their income to pay their energy bills.
  • They have has a lot of debts or is on benefits
  • There’s mould growth or damp on their walls

BHESCO are also looking for volunteer tradesmen to implement energy efficiency measures at homes of those affected by fuel poverty – again, you get in contact with BHESCO at  info@bhesco.co.uk.

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