Winners of Feel the Heat Awards crowned

The winners of the inaugural Feel the Heat awards – supported by SSE SWALEC – have been announced today (Friday).

The Community Energy Wardens scheme is an innovative community based project run by housing association Grŵp Cynefin.

The Feel the Heat awards are run by National Energy Action (NEA) Cymru, supported by SSE SWALEC, and recognise innovative approaches to tackling fuel poverty.

The winning project provides training and work experience for unemployed people in North Wales who can then support local residents with practical advice on how to save energy at home and reduce their energy bills. 

Since 2011, 21 local people have benefited from paid work experience and high quality training enabling them to help over 1,100 residents in becoming more energy efficient at home and save money.  As a result the vast majority of those trained have since gained employment or moved on to other training opportunities.  

Frances Muller, Customer Relations Manager at SSE SWALEC, said: “SSE SWALEC is proud to support the Feel The Heat Awards, and we were very impressed with the standard of entries this year.

“All have showcased the innovative and impactful ways groups throughout Wales are providing people in vulnerable circumstances with advice and support to help them manage their energy costs.” 

The runners-up were the Speakeasy Advice Centre, which provides specialist fuel debt advice and assistance on a range of energy related issues to vulnerable families and individuals, and Carmarthenshire County Council which established 14 fuel clubs within the county. These allow tenants to come together with other residents to buy their oil in bulk purchases.

Carole Morgan-Jones, Director, NEA Cymru, added: “The judging panel were extremely impressed by the diverse range of creative projects which are being undertaken across Wales to help people in their local communities struggling to afford to heat their homes. 

“Grŵp Cynefin’s project stood out as an initiative that shows how tackling fuel poverty can bring wider benefits to the local community through improved employment prospects and reducing carbon emissions.”