A partnership has been launched to help support the most vulnerable people across Bury and Bolton with their energy bills.

Citizens Advice Bury and Bolton and Age UK have announced their two-year project which is expecting to start taking referrals in the coming weeks following its planning an mobilisation phase.

The project will see the partnership deliver free face-to-face, quality-assured advice to those vulnerable to fuel poverty, supporting them towards being able to keep warm and healthier homes

Advice will be delivered either in person, digitally, or via home visits, in order to promote greater awareness and access to advice and other services amongst people with fuel insecurity. 

Richard Wilkinson, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice Bury and Bolton said: “This is an exciting partnership, the first of its kind, between two providers operating across Bury and Bolton within robust quality assurance frameworks.

“We’re looking forward to developing the project which will have reach across all communities and age groups across the Bury and Bolton areas.”

Bury Times: Richard Wilkinson at Citizens Advice's recently opened site in BoltonRichard Wilkinson at Citizens Advice's recently opened site in Bolton (Image: Newsquest)

The partnership aims to enable vulnerable people to be able to afford their energy bills, reducing fuel poverty, and creating a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. 

It will do this by delivering advice and assistance with increasing incomes as well as improving energy efficiency in homes.

It also aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people who are fuel vulnerable, whilst developing energy advice skills.

It also seeks to learn from people’s lived experience so both parties are better equipped to help in future.

Andy Hazeldine, chief officer at Age UK Bury, said: “We are seeing an enormous surge in enquiries for help with benefits during this cost of living crisis.

"We are grateful for this new funding from the Energy Industry Redress Scheme which will help us to support local residents in Bury and Bolton.” 

The project is being funded through the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme by the Energy Savings Trust which has been appointed by Ofgem to distribute payments from companies who may have breached Ofgem rules.

Registered charities, community interest companies, co-operative societies and community benefit societies can apply for funds to deliver energy related projects that meet the scheme priorities and benefit people.

The Energy Saving Trust will be administering the scheme until 2024.