From 1st June 2021 Citizens Advice Plymouth and Citizens Advice Manchester will be forming an exciting new collaborative partnership to deliver advice services for energy customers nationwide who are at risk of or experiencing fuel poverty.
The OVO Energy funded project is a Service Level Agreement under the Warm Home Discount Industry Initiative. Guidelines for the Warm Home Discount are set out by the regulator Ofgem.
In 2020/21 Citizens Advice Plymouth has written off £412,252.42 of energy debt through the OVO fund. We identified £1,114,171 in new income in the same year for clients experiencing poverty. The two offices are excited to form a collaboration led by Plymouth, employing 3 FTE new staff to achieve a greater impact for clients who are struggling to make their payments.
Daniel Gill, Director of National Partnerships said:
“I am delighted that the collaboration with Citizens Advice Manchester continues to develop ensuring that collectively we can support more communities experiencing fuel poverty.
Citizens Advice Plymouth and Citizens Advice Manchester have been working in collaboration with Electricity North West and it is wonderful progress that we are now able to use this best practice and start our next delivery opportunity with OVO Energy.
There is huge potential for more local offices in the Citizens Advice network to collaborate on great projects that support people who need to access advice. I hope our work inspires other local offices to start meaningful conversations on collaboration.”
OVO Energy will identify customers and signpost them to their OVO Energy Fund application hosted on the OVO Energy website. Customers can self-refer or call Citizens Advice Plymouth directly on01752 507703.
Referrals will be offered income maximization and holistic debt advice, such as a Benefits check from an advisor and the brokering of agreements with creditors, creating repayment plans which support the client to break free from financial crisis. To receive the debt write-off customers will need to successfully pay three months of ongoing energy payments. Long-term debt solutions such as Debt Relief Orders and Bankruptcy payments can also be awarded via the OVO Energy Fund.
For further information on the OVO Energy Fund and Citizens Advice Plymouth visit our website: https://citizensadviceplymouth.org.uk/
For new partnership enquiries, email: daniel.gill@CitizensAdvicePlymouth.org.uk