Yorkshire Energy Doctor is all about saving local people money! We are a bit like Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, or the Citizens Advice but we only know about energy. We often get asked how our service can be free - this is because we receive grants from a number of different sources. This funding covers our costs so there is no charge to anyone who needs advice or support.
Introduction from Kate:
It's the 21st Century, people should not be living in a cold home or choosing between buying food or putting money on their gas meter. Vulnerable households should not be paying more for the same gas and electricity than a computer savvy household on a higher income. Schemes that are available to help low income households with their heating should not be hidden away and made hard to apply for. You should not have to spend hours and hours on the phone just to try and get an energy supplier to send you an accurate bill. These things shouldn't happen but they do, all the time.
After many years of working in the public and voluntary sector I started Yorkshire Energy Doctor to support local residents in dealing with energy and heating related challenges. We can help people to change their supplier to get cheaper prices, apply for grants towards their winter bills or financial help to get debts cleared, deal with any ongoing problems with a particular energy supplier, and improve the energy efficiency and warmth of a home. This is all aimed towards making a home warm and energy bills more affordable..
I am not a fan of being filmed but sometimes a video can tell a story of our work far better than words. As a partner on the Warm and Well in North Yorkshire project, Kate was involved in the project video. You can see two shorter versions of this video, one to see exactly what a home visit is all about - click here and one to hear about the impact that high energy bills and cold homes can have on mental health - see here. We are very grateful to both Ken and Donna who agreed to be filmed for this video and to share their experiences with others. It should also be said that this filming took place in January 2020, before any government restrictions came into place.
I will always be grateful to the Yorkshire and Humber School for Social Entrepreneurs who awarded us a place on their programme in 2014/15 which helped us to get established. Along with other founders of social enterprises, I spoke about our organisation and the importance of tackling fuel poverty at the graduation ceremony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXp8cKfgU20
Heat Hero award!
In February 2018 Kate was awarded a national Heat Hero award. 15 of these awards are made every year by National Energy Action to people across the country who have gone above and beyond to help residents who are in fuel poverty. Kate collected her award at a special ceremony at the Houses of Parliament:
Who is involved with the Energy Doctor?
We are a very small organisation with just one full-time member of staff (Kate) and three volunteer Directors, Claire Hughes, Val White and Steve Wren. We also work closely with Chris and Emily from another local organisation, Making Things Happen CIC, to run training courses and community engagement events. We are fortunate to have expert input from Claire who has helped design our successful training courses.
Do you support residents who struggle with their energy bills?
The vast majority of our work is done in partnership with other organisations and we regularly take referrals from local frontline agencies such as the Living Well Team, the Fire Service, Family Support Workers, Council Officers, Age UK and other local voluntary sector organisations. If you have someone who would benefit from energy advice then please get in touch. As noted above, grant funding means that this is a free and completely impartial service.