April disappeared in a flash With big changes on the horizon we're looking forward, laying the foundations for our upcoming share offer, giving our website a spring clean, all while keeping our eyes on the low-carbon prize. In this hyper-connected world, we feel incredibly fortunate to have the flexibility to keep moving in spite of the limitations of COVID-19; CREW and community energy are responding robustly to the current situation and we have never been prouder to be a part of such a resilient bunch!
Without further ado, we present this month's edition of CREW news:
COVID-19 energy advice line: get information, advice and support in self-isolation from our trained energy advisors
Energy-saving tips: three tips (or reminders) to save you up to £160 per year!
#MakeDoCREW: DIY and crafts to save you money and energy while you stay home
Community resilience in a crisis: updates on how CREW is handling COVID-19
Energy news: air source heat pumps to tackle particle pollution
Meet the team: get to know our energy café manager, Katherin
ICYMI: we've been awarded almost £100k of funding!
COVID-19 telephone support
COVID-19 has slashed people's incomes while also forcing them to spend more time at home and, as a result, more money on their energy bills. CREW is here to help!
We've set up a phone advice line so we can support those who need energy advice now more than ever. We can assess your situation, help you apply for grants, discounts and debt relief as well as provide other tips on how to keep your energy bills down.
We can also speak to you in Spanish / También puedes hablar con nosotros en español.
We have spent the last few weeks brainstorming with our teams to decipher the advice and support made available by various energy providers and provide some much-needed clarity. A lot has been done by utility companies to help those 'most in need', but the UK government needs to do more to protect the vulnerable and, particularly, those at risk of fuel poverty. Older and disabled people, worst hit by the virus, are even more at risk in cold, damp homes.
Fuel Poverty Action are urging the UK government to guarantee people's heat and power - please help us support vulnerable members of our community by signing below.
Save a combined total of up to £160 per year with this month's energy tips!
Turn off the lights Make sure you turn the light off when you leave the room... A timeless piece of advice, but with good reason! Turning all lights off when not in use can save you £15/year. If you have little ones at home, make it fun: see who can switch the most appliances off, or make energy-saving reminders using our latest #MakeDoCREW post.
Wash at 30 degrees and fill it up! Unless you are washing towels or sheets, washing at 30 is the easiest way to save energy with your wash! Make sure each load is full and you'll also save water. Cut back one load per week and you can save £25/year.
Take a 7-minute shower
... or if you're up to the challenge, make it 4 minutes. Cutting just one minute off your shower time could save £15 in energy bills, and a further £15 in water bills if water is metered, per person, per year – that means £120 saved a year for an average four-person household.
Looking for some lockdown activities that will save you energy and money? We're posting weekly DIY inspo and craft for kids (and grown-ups) on our blog. Learn how to:
Draught-proof your windows and doors
Make a draught-excluder
Fit radiator reflectors
Make energy-saving reminders with your young climate activists
One of the few benefits of the COVID-19 lockdown has been the reduction in pollution and the perceived improvement in air quality. Yet things may not have improved as much as we hoped. A recent report in the Guardian suggests that particulate matter (PM) remains stubbornly high. This is partly down to gas boiler flues, which pump out PM, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide that seriously impact our air quality. Heat pumps could be the solution.
I joined CREW because I wanted to work helping people within the community. When I found out that many people were cold or hungry in their homes due to high energy bills and didn't know how to get help, I knew I wanted to contribute and make a positive change within the community.
Who is your green hero and why?
One of my green heroes is John Berrío López, director of the Fundación Botellas de Amor (Bottles of Love Foundation). His project was the first project that I took part in while I was in secondary school in Bogota. With my classmates, we used to fill up plastic bottles with crisp packets, which were then collected for the Fundación Botellas de Amor. With these bottles they made houses, playgrounds and school desks for vulnerable communities in Colombia.
Katherin also works as an energy advisor for our partners, SELCE. You'll usually find her giving out expert advice and tips in English and Spanish at our energy cafés!
In case you missed it...
CREW Energy has been awarded £99,162 from Power to Change
The grant will allow us to promote and fund community ownership of renewable heat to tackle three issues in our society: climate change, fuel poverty and air quality - including through our upcoming share offer.