REECH aims to break down barriers faced by members of ethnic minority communities, which can prevent them from heating their homes affordably. The event will specifically target such communities, which might otherwise struggle to access energy efficiency services.
The need for energy efficiency advice specifically tailored for ethnic minority communities is greater in the UK than anywhere else in Europe – and greater in London than anywhere else in the UK. The largest number of community languages in Europe can be found in the United Kingdom. And, staggeringly, over 300 languages are currently spoken in London. Some of the most established of these are Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien.
Taking place at the Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre on October 26th the event will engage ethnic community leaders, health officials, politicians and industry leaders allowing them to share ideas and ways of improving awareness of energy efficiency and its impact of warmer homes.
Local community groups and link organisations, which work across London, will also be in attendance. The aim is to ensure that cultural and linguistic differences do not hinder access to energy efficiency information for these communities.
In addition, the event aims to examine further barriers affecting the take-up of energy advice, energy efficiency grants and other services amongst minority communities in London and looks into ways this information can be used to influence fuel poverty policy in the capital.
William Gillis, NEA Chief Executive, said: “Ethnic minority communities face particular difficulties when trying to access the range of energy efficiency information and assistance available to the public. REECH aims to ensure communities don’t miss out on vital help and information they need to keep their homes warm and safeguard their health.”
Andrew Reaney, Head of British Gas Residential Energy, London region said: “We’re working hard in the London area to ensure that minority communities are able to access vital information and services to help improve the quality of their lives. REECH hopes to do exactly what the name suggests – to reach out to these communities and this event should help further overcome any potential barriers to the take up of energy efficiency advice and services.”