Jonathan Newton, Energy & Sustainability Advisor at ForViva, will be one of the landlord’s advisors able to help customers with energy issuesForViva helps customers to save big on energy bills

North West housing group ForViva has successfully bid for funding from the Big Energy Saving Network (BESN) – to help provide vulnerable customers with top tips and advice about how to reduce their energy bills and save money.

City West Housing Trust and Villages Housing Association – both members of ForViva, which owns and manages 18,000 homes across the region – have been awarded £5,000 to train 40 frontline staff and 100 resident volunteers, who will give free energy advice and guidance to customers.

Delivered by The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the programme will run from October 2015 until March 2016, and support City West and Villages customers living in communities across Salford, Oldham and Knowsley.

Jo Chilton, Director of Partnerships at ForViva, said: “Working in partnership to enable our customers to save money and stay warmer in their homes is a real priority for us. Fuel poverty can significantly affect people on a low income and can also cause serious health implications – especially for those who are more vulnerable.

“Having access to the right resources and training to tackle these issues is key. Expensive energy bills can often leave customers out of pocket for other essentials, and many customers lack the confidence to question providers on how they can save money.

“Securing this grant provides City West and Villages with the opportunity to increase customers’ knowledge about how to use energy effectively.”

Since the network launched in 2013, DECC has provided more than £2 million in funding, and the past year has seen the department fund 170 individual BESN projects – delivered by 90 different organisations.

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