Financial boost for community energy groups announced

Financial boost for community energy groups announced

UK Power Networks has pledged £1 million to help community energy groups scale up their net zero programmes.

Working alongside Community Energy South (CES), the new funding will help up to 20 community organisations and charities support those who are at risk of falling behind in the net zero transition.

Community energy groups play a critical role in supporting vulnerable customers across the country. This work will put boots on the ground, helping fund local jobs for local people with the aim of reaching 20,000 people and conducting over 1,200 in-person home visits.

CES has been awarded funds to enlist and support the participating groups in delivering the work. This partnership will be crucial in ensuring the right support is established in the right places across London, the East and South East of England.

Six community energy groups are already on board and working on plans to recruit and expand their energy advice services. More groups will be coming online for the second phase starting in September.

Suleman Alli, Director of Finance, Customer Service and Technology at UK Power Networks, says, “We’re extremely proud to be able to support the impactful work of community energy groups across the areas we serve. We hope this funding boost will make a meaningful difference to those in our community and provide our customers with support and guidance to ensure no one is left behind in the transition to net zero.”

CES will provide fully funded bespoke training for new recruits to become ‘energy champions’, now a sought-after career opportunity within the community energy sector.

One energy champion already working in the area comments, “I enjoy visiting homes and meeting people and being able to help them with ideas on how they can improve their home and spend less money – and help the environment too. It’s a win-win! The training gave me the knowledge and confidence to be able to go out to people’s homes and talk to them about saving energy. The support from the leaders and wider group has been brilliant for when something different crops up.”

Ollie Pendered, Chief Executive Officer of CES, adds, “This is a ground-breaking moment for the community energy sector. The intrinsic value of all the hard work by thousands of volunteers across the country has been recognised, and through this campaign, up to 20 community energy groups will have the opportunity to receive funding to create local job opportunities and deliver their energy saving campaigns within their communities. This is an extraordinary development and one we thank UK Power Networks for enabling.”

For more from UK Power Networks, click here.

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