The £1.2 million programme is a two-year partnership between fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA) and British Gas, with local authorities across Britain, including Warm Up North, an association of nine councils across the North East.

The Community Action Partneship was set up in April 2014 to help local residents save energy and lower their energy bills in eight areas of Britain and The has trained almost 300 frontline staff working at local organisations across the North East in energy awareness.

It is hoped each of the people trained could help around 15 residents each month to better understand and manage their energy bills. With the support of Community Action Northumberland, the partnership has also trained community volunteers to become ‘energy agents’ to help them share their energy-saving knowledge with friends and neighbours.

The energy agents have engaged with around 7,000 people and distributed free energy monitors, provided by British Gas. In addition, the partnership has worked with Voluntary Organisations Network North East (VONNE) to launch the ‘Community Challenge.’ Through the scheme, eligible households have received a free British Gas boiler to help improve the warmth and energy-efficiency of their homes.

Christine Nicholls, community development officer at Community Action Northumberland, said: “Through the partnership with the NEA and British Gas, we’ve been able to encourage members of the public to share their knowledge on ways to make their homes more energy efficient with friends and family.”

Christine Tate, head of corporate responsibility, British Gas, said: “We’re proud to have worked with NEA, Warm Up North and Community Action Northumberland to deliver training to people in Northumberland. We’ve been able to help people get the support they need to manage their energy bills and keep their homes warm.”

Maria Wardrobe, director, NEA, said “As the national fuel poverty charity, our aim is to help the most vulnerable to stay warm and healthy in their homes. By working with British Gas and local organisations we were able to provide thousands of Northumberland residents with the information they need to live more comfortably and affordably in their community.”

For further information and energy saving tips, please visit the British Gas website:

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