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Press Release 12 March 2024 Updated 22 March 2024

Free energy advice service launching this spring in the North East

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From spring 2024, North East residents will benefit from a new free comprehensive energy advice service aimed at improving home energy efficiency across the region.

Delivered by our experts, the service is made possible through almost £2m funding secured by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA).

Residents in the North of Tyne will be able to access a one-stop shop for energy advice, funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This will guide residents through the steps needed to make home energy improvements, enabling them to reduce their carbon emissions and lower their energy bills.

This part of the service will include a website featuring energy saving advice and will give residents the option to create a report tailored to their home. The report gives recommendations on how to make their home warmer, use less energy and save money, as well as providing links to local installers who can do the work.

Our expert advisors will be available to provide over-the-phone advice to support residents every step of the way.  

Across the wider North East, our partners at Groundwork North East and Cumbria and Community Action Northumberland will provide extra in-person support for more vulnerable households, or those in rural or hard to treat homes. This project is funded by the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub.

Households will benefit from home assessments and support from a qualified Retrofit Coordinator plus, where eligible, referrals to schemes that install energy efficiency measures.  

This part of the service will maximise local supply chains. It also works alongside local delivery partners and charities to identify households who need support and ensure a joined-up, comprehensive approach.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll said:

“Warmer homes which are cheaper to run, who doesn’t want that?

“We’ve got to reduce our carbon emissions. Supporting people to upgrade old buildings is one of the ways we’re doing it. It’s also about protecting people’s pockets and their health. 

“People who live in cold, poorly insulated homes are more at risk of falling ill and staying ill. Every £1 invested in retrofitting homes, saves the NHS 42p. We’re working with Energy Saving Trust who are experts in this area, to roll this out at scale across the North East.”

Dame Norma Redfearn DBE, Chair of the Housing and Land Board said:

“This service will enable us to fulfil our commitment to deliver a large scale retrofit programme for the North East, that maximises local skills and supply chain opportunities, creating local jobs, whilst supporting our residents to reduce their energy bills.”

More than 60% of homes in North of Tyne have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or below1, potentially leading to higher energy bills. Also, more than 85% of homes in the region use gas or oil powered heating systems1. This means they’re susceptible to high energy prices being driven by the volatility of international fossil fuel markets.

Laura McGadie, group head of energy at Energy Saving Trust said:

“With 30 years of experience, we know the value of providing tailored advice to help people manage their energy use and costs. Energy Saving Trust is pleased to be at the forefront of shaping a new approach to the delivery of energy advice and practical support for the residents in the North East.”

The one-stop shop for residents in the North of Tyne and extra in person support for eligible households across the North East will initially be available for one year.


About North of Tyne Combined Authority

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) was created in 2018, when the UK Parliament signed off a £1.2 billion devolution deal covering Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Working closely with partners across the private and public sector, it’s responsible for projects that boost growth, create jobs and will deliver a greener and more inclusive economy.

In its first five years, the authority has invested over £250 million in projects that will deliver 5,000 jobs, over 2,000 new homes and more than 30,000 new learning opportunities. These initiatives have secured more than £300 million of private sector investment.

About Groundwork North East & Cumbria

Groundwork North East and Cumbria is the community charity with a green heart that operates across the North East and Cumbria to transform places and lives in some of the most disadvantaged communities. Activity focuses on positive sustainable change in places of need across the region.

As part of this partnership programme, Groundwork North East and Cumbria will deploy its ‘Green Doctors’. These are energy efficiency champions who visit people in their homes to provide expert advice on where and how energy and cost savings can be made.

This practical help and advice has helped hundreds of households across the region and is often viewed as the fourth emergency service for those in an energy crisis.

About Community Action Northumberland

Community Action Northumberland (CAN) is a charity supporting Northumberland’s rural communities for over 70 years. CAN has extensive expertise in delivering energy and retrofit advice to rural residents in Northumberland and will bring this rural specialism to the service.

Last updated: 22 March 2024