The Effective Energy Group has launched an innovative and holistic new scheme that provides energy saving advice, free heating, insulation and white goods and an income maximisation service for low-income and vulnerable households struggling to pay their energy bills.

Help4Homes covers all property types and tenures, and with a quarter of homes in England and Wales now affected by fuel poverty, the scope for the Ofgem approved scheme to provide help where it is most needed is enormous.

Neil Marshall, director of external affairs at Effective Energy Group, said: “Soaring energy prices have been making headlines for months on end; and rising in tandem with these ever-spiralling prices are the number of households that can be defined as being in fuel poverty – a figure that now tops six million.”

Unlike some other Government-led schemes, Help4Homes isn’t focused solely on energy reduction measures, but extends to cover a variety of different areas; key amongst them income maximisation, which can play a significant role in the difference between households remaining in fuel poverty and getting out of it.

Since going live at the end of 2021 with an initial £500k of funding, the response to Help4Homes has been so overwhelmingly positive that Effective Energy is now seeking new partners to invest in the scheme.

“Energy companies, local authorities and housing associations have funds to spend on helping low income and vulnerable households and Help4Homes has the scope to help more homes in more different ways than any other existing scheme,” added Neil.

“And because of our in-house expertise and that of our partners, IncomeMAX and CSupplies, those investing in it can do so in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.”

IncomeMAX oversees the income maximisation element of Help4Homes, while CSupplies provides the white goods.

“Although anyone can invest in Help4Homes, it is the ideal vehicle for energy companies and local authorities,” continued Neil. “Energy companies can invest through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Warm Homes Discount schemes, while local authorities can use various sources of funding, including the Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LADs), Home Upgrade Grant Scheme (HUG) and local budgets. And however they invest, they’ll do so knowing their money will make a huge difference to households that need it the most.”