0800 Repair Gas is helping to tackle fuel poverty in the North East after making an experienced appointment to lead its efforts.

The Houghton le Spring-headquartered home services business is hoping to attract and maximise the amount of Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding into the region by engaging with a number of the region’s key stakeholders.

ECO is a government energy efficiency scheme to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.

0800 Repair Gas has appointed Graeme Stephenson as its Partnerships Manager to oversee and drive the project.

Graeme, 55, has previously worked at British Gas and was the Lead Partnership Manager for Warm Up North, a partnership between British Gas and nine local authorities in the North East, that was created to tackle fuel poverty across the region by making homes more affordable for eligible residents.

As part of the role, Graeme will be creating and building on existing relationships with local authorities, social housing providers and organisations within the health sector to support vulnerable people through the delivery of ECO services.

Phil Pallister, Managing Director of 0800 Repair, said: “Fuel poverty can affect many people and sometimes it is a case of residents not knowing the initiatives and support that is available to them, which can vastly reduce their energy consumption and bills in the process. We are looking to expand this part of the business and support vulnerable people in the region, and Graeme’s appointment will help strengthen our ties among key stakeholders and organisations across the North East.

“Graeme’s experience and industry knowledge, together with the relationships he has built up over the years, will set him up perfectly for the role and what 0800 Repair Gas is trying to achieve.”

0800 Repair Gas has recently collaborated with Community Action Northumberland (CAN), an organisation created to support communities in rural Northumberland, to help an elderly, vulnerable resident, who had no heating or hot water.

The customer’s heating system had broken down but through the CAN network they were put in touch with 0800 Repair Gas, which provided funding through its connections with energy suppliers and were able to heavily subsidise the installation cost.

Graeme Stephenson said: “I am delighted to be supporting 0800 Repair Gas and helping to shape and drive its work in tackling fuel poverty. I have worked in the region for many years and led many energy efficient schemes to support vulnerable people and reduce homeowners’ bills.

“I have known Phil for a long time and as soon as he got in touch, I was keen to support the company by offering my expertise and knowledge. The company has ambitious plans for the future and I am excited to come on board at this defining stage in 0800 Repair Gas’ development.”

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