The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Keeping you safe and warm

Wales & West Utilities, alongside all UK Gas Distribution Networks (GDN’s), use their extensive network of pipes to transport gas to homes and businesses and are committed to keeping people safe and warm, even in the worst weather.

As GDN’s we are committed to helping customers across our network – including those in rural locations. Here’s some of the ways we help:

  • All gas suppliers, and utilities, maintain a Priority Service Registers (PSR), which help us identify those customers who may need additional support. Working together, we offer a range of practical help and guidance on a range of energy issues impacting our customers and communities. This register helps us all to make sure we really look after those who need it most. So, whilst many people don’t like to think of themselves as vulnerable, the PSR ensures help is there – from advice and support to helping customers in the event their gas supply is interrupted. We use online and media campaigns, our network of engineers and many of our partnerships to promote the PSR and ensure that customers are signed up. This data is shared amongst gas suppliers, and other utilities, and during last year a further 18,000 homes were added to the register. To find out more please visit: Priority Customers (wwutilities.co.uk)
  • WWU has funded almost 20,000 new gas connections to homes over the past 12 months, helping to save customers money on their bills. We help link customers to schemes which fund first-time gas central heating, which continues to make a huge difference to people’s warmth, comfort, and heath. Through funding from Welsh Government and local authority support in England, we were able to extend the gas network into villages that were previously off gas, and into park homes. This, combined with various insulation schemes, helps transform home heating.
  • Recent changes to the Energy Company Obligation Scheme (ECO4) have seen a move away from fossil fuel boilers to now focus on insulation, upgrades to existing heating systems and low carbon solutions, such as solar panels and heat pumps.  Through this we are changing focus to tackle energy costs and fuel poverty. We have established a network of partnerships across our area including those with Care & Repair Cymru, Warm Wales, NEA, Centre for Sustainable Energy, Maggie’s Cancer Centres as well as local groups which support unpaid carers. These partners use their own referral networks to identify the most vulnerable in our society and provide inventions aimed at increasing household income, reducing the amount spent on energy and as a result are improving health and wellbeing.  We also work with local authorities which have set up Warm Spaces this winter.
  • We have come together to support national projects working alongside Citizens Advice, SCOPE, Marie Curie, Fuel Bank Foundation and Age UK, providing both general and tailored support to people with different needs. Support measures have included:
    • Unclaimed benefits
    • Council tax rebates
    • Tackling energy debt
    • Accessing energy efficiency measure funding
    • Energy efficiency behaviours
    • Crisis support - fuel vouchers
    • Priority Service Register sign ups
    • Carbon monoxide awareness
    • Free issue CO alarms

For more information on ways we can support please visit: Safe & Warm (wwutilities.co.uk)

Engineer with vulnerable customers

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