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Energy doctors offer bill-cutting advice

Date: 14/04/2008           Category: Housing and Homelessness

Householders in Medway could save money by cutting their energy bills thanks to free expert advice from ‘energy doctors’ offering home visits. The offer is open to selected households thank to a new collaboration between Medway Council and the Kent Energy Centre. The energy doctors are trained to advise people on how to reduce their gas and electricity bills and make their homes more environmentally friendly. The types of advice on offer range from simple no-cost activities, such as checking to ensure that heating controls are being used correctly, to more in-depth assistance such as loft and cavity-wall insulation and central heating improvements. The energy doctors will also be able to provide a range of complementary services, such as organising fire safety and benefit entitlement checks. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, Cllr Howard Doe, said: “With the recent increases in gas and electricity prices, saving energy in the home is becoming an increasingly important issue for householders. “The energy doctor scheme is great idea that could not only save people money, but help the environment too. I’m giving it my wholehearted support and hope everyone in Medway will too.” The energy doctors will be mailing around 12,000 selected households from Monday 21 April inviting them to book an appointment. The free home visits will take place from 28 April and are initially being offered only to selected residents, primarily the elderly, vulnerable and those on low incomes. The council also encourages all residents to contact the Kent Energy Centre, whose trained advisors can offer similar services over the telephone. The free number to call is 0800 358 6669, quoting reference HV49. All residents are eligible for subsidised loft and cavity-wall insulation, while those aged over 70 are entitled to entitled to them free. Those who receive qualifying benefits may also be entitled to free central heating, loft and cavity wall installation. This new initiative is funded by Defra, EDF and Medway Council. The Kent Energy Centre is a not-for-profit organisation offering free and impartial energy efficiency advice to residents across the county. For more information on the centre, see www.kentenergycentre.org.uk