Wheatley tenants save more than £1m thanks to fuel advice service

Wheatley Group’s fuel advice service has helped tenants save over £1 million on their energy bills over the past year.

The service offers expert support for tenants to help reduce gas and electricity bills and keep homes warm.

In 2020, Wheatley’s service supported thousands of customers from across the group’s subsidiaries including GHA, DGHP, Dunedin Canmore, Cube, Loretto Housing, WLHP and Lowther.

The £1m savings was made up of:

  • £600,000 for crisis fund top-up vouchers, supported by Ofgem;
  • £167,625 by helping customers switch to cheaper tariffs;
  • £130,203 in charitable grants and debt write-offs by energy suppliers;
  • £60,170 of fuel top-ups issued by Dumfries and Galloway Council;
  • £20,000 in emergency top-ups;
  • £38,220 helping customers apply for Warm Home Discounts;
  • £15,453 of funds from Wheatley Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund; and
  • £10,125 in refunds and compensation.

GHA tenant David Young, from Anniesland, needed help after receiving a large estimated bill.

Retired David, 80, said: “My new energy company got in touch to say I owed them £500, but they hadn’t even taken a meter reading.

“My fuel advisor got in touch with them as the bill was a mistake. The service is really good. I’ve used it four times or more already. I’d say 100% that other tenants should use the service.”

Fuel advisors can access cheaper tariffs, set up low-cost payments and, depending on circumstances, work with energy companies to write-off long-term debt.

Jim Mackie, from Roseburn in Edinburgh, got in touch with Dunedin Canmore for help to lower his bills. The fuel advice service helped him make savings of £150 a year by switching his gas and electricity to the same provider.

Jim, 72, said: “I looked at price comparison websites, but it’s complicated to change. My fuel advisor was able to cut through the red tape and made it a lot easier.

“Tenants should not hesitate to use the service. It’s magic.”

Wheatley Group director of housing and care, Olga Clayton, said: “During these tough times, it’s more important than ever we help tenants save money and keep warm in their homes.

“The fuel advice team is just one of a wide range of support services we have available for tenants who are worried about money, putting food on the table or getting into debt.”

Tenants who want to book an online or phone appointment with a fuel advisor should talk to their housing officer or letting agent.

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