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As the winter approaches, Hartlepool’s focus is to improve citizens’ lives

As winter approaches, the health and wellbeing of residents is a top priority at Hartlepool Borough Council. In the current cost-of-living crisis, people are anxious about rising costs and concerned about keeping their homes heated throughout the coming months.

As a seaside town with a rich history, many of the properties across Hartlepool are older and they aren’t always very energy efficient. Considering the rise in energy prices, finding new and responsible ways to heat our homes is becoming increasingly important – but sometimes it requires an upfront cost that isn’t affordable for all.

This is exactly why we wanted to support our residents by launching our sustainable warmth funding scheme. We had the opportunity to do so, as we secured £2.27 million of government funding through a bidding application process.

This enables us to provide a grant to households to install energy efficiency measures in their homes such as solar panels, heat pumps and cavity wall installation. All proven to save energy, costs and support the reduction of carbon emissions.

Creating a digital customer journey

Digital was always going to be a key part of the puzzle in making this programme work. We needed a solution that would make the funding accessible to all, provide information and allow people to apply for support.

Once we confirmed all the legislative requirements, we managed and developed an end-to-end case management solution through our govService engagement platform, provided by one of our existing suppliers, Granicus.

Creating a seamless customer journey was top of the list. So, through our solution, we made it possible for residents wanting to apply for the scheme to simply go online to find out more information, complete an application or access the details to reach the contact centre to apply offline. This meant we could reach people with varying levels of digital ability.

Through the case management solution, we’re able to provide residents with a very quick eligibility outcome, by asking them a range of key questions that will provide residents with an indication of whether they’re likely to be successful – saving them time and ensuring transparency within the process.

Keeping track

An initial visit is carried out, including an Energy Performance Certificate (EPPC) if required and measures identified through a Retrofit Assessment. Once recommended measures are identified all critical information including the EPC, recommended measures and estimated costs are inputted onto the system so it’s easily accessible.

This becomes incredibly important when it comes to the budget review. We need to make sure that we keep within budget, and the system enables us to run reports, allowing the team to keep a running total of spend.

As part of the funding agreement, we also need to produce a Government return every month, which is quite a feat. Previously a meticulous process involving a significant amount of time inputting data from all the schemes, the platform now automates this process and manages the caseload, all at the click of a button.

A framework for the future

This scheme is one of the tools we are using to help residents during the current cost-of-living crisis and to help improve our sustainability measures.

This process also has wider benefits for the community, as it has helped us to develop a solid framework to provide easier access to our services online and deliver future campaigns to help people where needed.

To learn more about govService, book a demo.