Charitable organisations have been given funds to help thousands of people in a ‘heat or eat’ dilemma, as part of almost £1 million granted in the past three years by the country’s largest electricity distributor.
A total of 16 projects will share nearly £300,000 of funding, under the fifth round of UK Power Networks’ Power Partners scheme, to offer energy advice and practical support to people who include young carers, refugees, vulnerable tenants, the disabled and those with mental health issues.
Power Partners was launched by UK Power Networks in 2019 to help local communities’ energy needs and refocused to respond to fuel poverty. The electricity distributor delivers safe and reliable supplies for more than eight million homes and businesses in London, the East and the South East of England, through a network of 188,000 km of power lines.
Since the fund was launched 52 groups have received up to £20,000 each for their projects, supporting people taking steps to reduce their energy bills, maximising their income and applying for grants, or helping organisations make community spaces more energy efficient through insulation, heating or lighting upgrades.
Giulia Privitera, Social Sustainability Strategy and Programme Manager for UK Power Networks, says: “There are many people currently experiencing fuel poverty whose situation has been made worse by the pandemic, increased energy price cap and the cost of living crisis.
“Many are facing real financial difficulties keeping hard-to-heat homes warm, so we focused this round of Power Partners on targeted support to tackle fuel poverty through the community charities and organisations who can provide it in the most innovative way and engage with those most in need. We aim to reach as many people as possible living in vulnerable circumstances, on low income and in low energy efficiency properties.
“We work hard with our partners to improve our fuel poverty programme each year to maximise its impact on hard-to-reach communities. We look at what has changed for our customers so that we can continue to adapt and make a real, long lasting difference to people’s lives.”