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Six UK charities have been awarded over £280,000 in funding for sustainable energy projects in the first round of grants from the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme.
Energy Saving Trust, which was appointed by Ofgem to distribute the Energy Redress Scheme monies to eligible charitable organisations, announced the first phase of funding following a rigorous assessment period. The Energy Redress Scheme is funded by voluntary payments made by energy companies following enforcement and compliance action by Ofgem.
The overarching aim of the Energy Redress Scheme is to distribute available funds to support energy consumers in vulnerable situations and the development of products or services which would provide a benefit for certain groups of energy consumers.
The first round of funding will see £40,000 go towards a community heating network in Stirlingshire, £75,000 for the creation of a one-stop energy advice service in Rochdale, Tameside and Bury, and nearly £40,000 for the creation of a new programme to help make heating controls accessible for visually impaired people in Northumberland.
Other successful applications include £63,000 for a 20-month programme to help 5,000 vulnerable residents in Wirral, £35,000 for an innovative cooking and lighting energy saving programme on Lewis, and £28,000 to create a voluntary energy champion programme in Wigan.
|Energy Project Plus||Seacombe, Wirral||£62,864.00||Sustainable Seacombe: A 20- month programme to help 5,000 vulnerable residents and install more than 1,000 energy efficiency measures|
|Fintry Development Trust||Fintry Stirlingshire||£40,000.00||Fintry Low Carbon Heat: Installation of a ground source community heating network, servicing 22 properties currently heated by electric storage heaters and electric boilers|
|Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale||Rochdale, Tameside and Bury||£75,745.26||Energy Works GM: Creation of a replicable one-stop-shop energy advice service. Training local volunteers as energy champions. Other measures include installing small energy measures in 520 vulnerable people’s households, and the creation of a wrap-around service linked to health and wellbeing|
|Northumberland County Blind Association||Northumberland||£39,329.80||Making Heating Controls Accessible for People with a Visual Impairment: The project will pioneer four different kinds of technology solutions into households that have a visually impaired person with a visual processing disorder. Advice on energy saving and management will also be given.|
|Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company||Isle of Lewis||£35,900.00||Barvas Community Estate Trust Community LED: Will join with the Energy Advisory Service to provide free slow cookers and LED lighting for household in the Barvas Estate area as part of an education programme on efficient lighting and cooking. The home visits to install both will enable local residents to take up in-depth energy advice, encompassing energy billing, insulation, installation of carbon monoxide monitors and referrals to support agencies, where appropriate.|
|Wigan Warriors Community Foundation||Wigan||£28,433.00||Wigan Community Energy Champions Programme: The scheme will develop and support a Community Energy Champion Programme to support hard to reach vulnerable residents. Recruiting 10 volunteer champions, they will be trained to provide energy and fuel poverty advice, as well as helping people access further support if needed.|
Mike Thornton, group director of operations at Energy Saving Trust said: “The first round of awards for the Energy Redress Scheme demonstrate the ability of charities and their partners to help consumers, especially vulnerable consumers, with their energy bills."
“We’ve seen very strong interest in the fund and we look forward to working with charitable organisations to support more customers when the second round of funding opens in the autumn.”
Anthony Pygram, director of conduct and enforcement at Ofgem, said: “We are pleased to see the first awards to charities of payments from energy companies to the Voluntary Redress Scheme following Ofgem’s enforcement and compliance activity. These grants will help vulnerable customers throughout the UK through a number of schemes, as well as investing in new and innovative products and services for consumers.
When funds become available, registered eligible organisations will be sent an application pack including guidance and details of any additional priorities applied to the funding. Once submitted, these applications will be assessed on the quality of the project proposal, its potential impact and its relevance to the fund's priorities