Five organisations across England and Wales are celebrating after securing a share of £400,000 funding for an innovative project to tackle fuel poverty in their community, as part of the National Grid Energy Efficiency Innovation Award scheme.
The scheme which operates across National Grid’s four gas distribution networks provides a £400k fund to support major innovations to tackle fuel poverty and deliver energy efficiency solutions in communities, with five agencies in total receiving awards. Subject to final contract arrangements, winning agencies; CityWest Homes, Walsall Housing Group, Southway Housing Trust, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Derbyshire County Council will start delivering their projects in January 2015.
Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions said, “National Grid is committed to providing sustainable, innovative and affordable energy and we recognise that investing in energy efficiency brings multiple benefits to communities and householders. We know that some of the best ideas come from within communities and that funding is often the major obstacle to them coming to fruition. The scheme is the first of its kind and I am really excited to see what benefits it brings to communities and how we can share this learning with our partners.”
Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive of National Energy Action (NEA), the national fuel poverty charity and one of the award scheme judges said, “4.5 million UK households are living in fuel poverty, unable to heat their homes affordably. Action by local agencies is key to tackling this issue, and we are excited to see how the projects develop and how the lives of fuel poor residents improve over the next year.”
The scheme, which is funded by National Grid and community interest company Affordable Warmth Solutions is being administered by NEA and all projects will be reporting and sharing outcomes from each project throughout the process.
Separately, NEA has teamed up with British Gas and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to invite applications to the Community Action Awards, which recognise best practice amongst those who are working to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency in their local communities.
The scheme is running from 2014-16 with a total of 25 awards made to community groups, third sector organisations, health agencies, local authorities and other public and not-for-profit organisations in England and Wales that demonstrate innovative approaches to tackling fuel poverty. Groups in Northern Ireland and Scotland are ineligible for the Community Energy Awards.
Winners will receive £1,500 to develop or enhance their project; a free place at the NEA Annual Conference; and practical and financial support to hold a community celebration event.
The published deadlines are:
- Phase 2 – 9 January 2015;
- Phase 3 – 17 April 2015;
- Phase 4 – 2 October 2015;
- Phase 5 – 8 January 2016.
For further information, contact National Energy Action.