Local charity Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS), widely recognised as the county’s trusted organisation for independent home energy advice, has been awarded over £390K by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to expand their Cold to Cosy Homes service. One of only seven organisations in the North West to be funded, CAfS will be working with the North West Net Zero Hub to deliver the programme.

James Johnson, Head of Regional Programme at North West Net Zero Hub said “The North West Net Zero Hub is delighted to be supporting Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS), along with six other projects through the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator competition. This is exciting news for the North West, and a great opportunity for talented North West organisations to carry out innovative approaches, supporting residents to make homes warmer and bills cheaper.”

The money awarded will be used to create at least 15 new jobs to help to expand CAfS in-demand Cold to Cosy Homes service, which gives free advice and energy saving equipment to a wide variety of households. The new funding will enable CAfS to offer bespoke, impartial home retrofit advice and guidance to nearly 800 vulnerable households over the next two years. This will be supported by a programme of events – online retrofit webinars, open homes events and Cold to Cosy Homes staff providing advice at community events.

CAfS Home Energy Programme Manager, Andrew Northcott said, “Our well-established Cold to Cosy Homes Cumbria service has supported 5,500 people since its inception. This new funding will enable our team to support even more households with specific, detailed, and independent retrofit advice, making even more homes across Cumbria warmer, drier, healthier, and cheaper to heat. By making their homes more energy efficient, it will also reduce their carbon footprint, contributing to our ultimate aim of a zero carbon Cumbria by 2037.

The two-year funding means that CAfS can develop and enhance its current advice scheme by offering in-depth home retrofit advice to hard-to-reach consumers and hard-to-heat homes, houses that are often traditional stone-built properties, off the gas grid.

Andrew continued “Adding to our existing team of expert advisers, we’ll be able to give advice on the traditional homes we have here in rural Cumbria, such as sympathetic wall insulation, improved ventilation, and low carbon heating sources such as heat pumps, or solar panels. We’ll also be able to signpost to grants and other government schemes.”

CAfS are currently adding to their expert team to be able to deliver the project including Project Officers and contract Home Energy Advisers and potential applicants are encouraged to see more details.