This should then form the basis for an assessment of fuel poverty. Whilst NEA recognises the value of using additional relevant information and statistical methods in fuel poverty calculations, it believes that there are agencies better positioned than BRE to understand the implications of work in what is a sensitive and contentious area of social policy. NEA further argues that constraints placed upon the consultation exercise itself by Government have greatly diminish the value of the process.

NEA believes the proposed changes, far from enabling a consistent and rational means of assessing fuel poverty, will compound and perpetuate existing failings in the methodology and leaves thousands of households vulnerable to the misery of fuel poverty. HUNDREDS of vulnerable households across the region have benefited from energy saving advice, thanks to a team of hard working Energy Champions. has given eleven Energy Champions the opportunity to create a variety of energy-related projects within their communities and help vulnerable people achieve warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills.

The eleven Energy Champions, Get Superlative Buying Process Report made up of volunteers and voluntary sector workers from a wide range of North East organisations, have been raising awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency for the past year. Naomi Priestley, Energy Champion from Teesside One World, is pictured with children from Saltburn School ‘out of school’ club displaying posters they made during energy efficiency sessions. The experience gained from our work as Energy Champions has informed your work in other areas and was a significant factor in the formation of a sustainable development project to work with children in out of school clubs for the next three years.

Earlier in the year Jane Cater, Energy Champion for Gingerbread North East, hosted a fun day for children and their families at play centres across the region. Whilst children burned off energy, their parents were given valuable advice on the best ways to save energy and cut down on fuel bills. At the other end of the age spectrum, older people were encouraged to take up grants for insulation and heating by Energy Champions from Age Concern.

I an Hunter Smart and Tracy Freeman from Age Concern County Durham and Chester le Street were particularly successful in getting the energy saving message across. Ideally positioned to identify vulnerable older people, not only did they raise awareness at talks and advise people in their own homes. but by passing on what they had learned to colleagues, they were also able to identify people in need of advice through the Handy Van scheme.