An information hub has opened in Swansea city centre which aims to help local residents eager to cut their fuel bills amid rising energy costs.
The 'Energy Awareness Hub' which is based in Nelson Street close to the Quadrant Bus Station will provide people with free advice and support.
This will include information on how to better insulate homes, switch energy providers and access support on welfare rights.
It comes as the predicted 50% rise in energy bills from April could trigger a national emergency for millions of older people, a charity has warned.
Age UK has said people are being forced to switch off their heating and limit hot showers as they face tough choices to pay for their increased energy bills.
As well as its energy information and assistance the hub sells eco-friendly refills including household products.
The initiative is funded by Swansea council’s economic recovery fund and the Western Power Community Matters Fund.
Andrea Lewis, the council's deputy leader and cabinet member for climate change and service transformation, said: “Rising energy costs, inflation and the pandemic are among the factors squeezing family budgets."
“The council continues to help those living close to the breadline – and our energy hub is an important new resource for them and others who want to keep energy bills as low as possible and to keep their homes warm.
“Many Swansea households face an unprecedented energy crisis due to the rising prices, and we and our valued partners in this venture want to help.”
Rhian Corcoran from the Environment Centre Swansea, who helps to run the information hub said support is 'key' to enable people to take action and help themselves.
“A lot of people are struggling to pay fuel bills; so we’re delighted to bring a package of information to one central place, backed by a network of experts in order to help whoever needs it." She said.
“This will include information to all on how to better insulate homes, switch energy providers and access support on welfare rights.
“Anybody concerned about the costs of fuel to themselves or relatives can pop in and chat in confidence with our team.”
The hub is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until April.
If the initial trial period proves useful to the public, consideration will then be given to extending its reach to the wider community, this could involve becoming mobile.