EXTENDED ENERGY ADVICE SERVICE SUPPORTING SHEFFIELD RESIDENTS
People in Sheffield worried or struggling to manage their energy costs can access a free energy advice service.
Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity network that powers people's everyday life, is funding three* independent 'Powergrid Care Advisors' at Citizens Advice Sheffield who are trained to help people when it comes to changing their supplier, checking tariffs, solving billing issues, progressing concerns with their chosen supplier and accessing debt or benefits advice to help maximise their income. In addition to the advisors, Northern Powergrid is also helping fund a telephone service so local people can access advice over the phone as well as face-to-face support.
Northern Powergrid has already funded six advisors in Citizens Advice Leeds and Newcastle who have helped thousands of customers save £100s a year. As part of the Powergrid Care Advisors' work, they also hold clinics in community centres, libraries and doctors surgeries that help enable local people to easily access vital help and advice about energy. The outreach services help bring independent advice and expertise into local communities, which is particularly important for people who may struggle to access other services.
People visiting clinics can receive a confidential assessment of their personal needs, advice and help on trust fund applications and maximising income as well as information about how to switch supplier. If appropriate, they'll also be signed up to Northern Powergrid's free Priority Services Membership which supports customers who have a medical condition or personal circumstances that may mean they would benefit from extra support in a power cut.
Michelle Cummings, Northern Powergrid's Social Responsibility Manager, said: "While our network charges on customers' bills from their chosen supplier remain unchanged at around £90 a year or 25p a day for the average domestic customer, we know people are concerned about the increasing cost of the energy they buy from their supplier and the impact this could have on their household – especially if they are already vulnerable.
"By funding Powergrid Care Advisors in partnership with Citizen Advice and extending the reach of our programme to include Sheffield, we can help support more customers in the communities we serve. The advisors are providing valuable, accessible and independent services to those who need it most.”
To talk to a Powergrid Care Advisor in Citizens Advice Sheffield call 0808 278 7820. The telephone advice service is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and the team can also provide details of any forthcoming outreach clinics.
As part of Northern Powergrid's commitment to being a force for good beyond its network of underground cables and overhead power lines, the network operator recently launched a new energy saving app, in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust. The app offers advice, guidance and tips to help customers be energy efficient in every room of their house. It is free to download and provides independent advice so people can make informed decisions for their household. To download the app from the Apple Store click here or from the Google Store click here. Northern Powergrid has also published on its Force for Good webpage:
- a free guide to make savings on all utility bills produced by Infrastructure North – a partnership between Northern Powergrid, Northern Gas Networks, Northumbrian Water and Yorkshire Water, and
- free, confidential and independent debt advice available through Northern Powergrid's partnership with the government sponsored MoneyHelper which can direct people to a debt adviser by telephone or online via: Money Adviser Network
Information about Northern Powergrid's free Priority Services Membership, including how customers can join and details about the additional support and advice available in everyday power cut situations to those who may be more vulnerable due to their medical or personal circumstances, can be found at www.northernpowergrid.com/care
The extended energy advice service was launched in Sheffield in March 2022 and the Powergrid Care Advisors have been working over recent months to support local families.
*Full-time equivalent roles