To combat fuel poverty charity Voluntary Norfolk secures £19,230 grant from UK Power Networks for vulnerable groups
A Norfolk charity has secured a £19,230 grant from UK Power Networks to help combat rising fuel poverty among vulnerable groups across the county.
Voluntary Norfolk has been given funds to help people in a ‘heat or eat’ dilemma, as part of almost £1 million granted by the country’s largest electricity distributor.
A total of 16 projects will share 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 across the East of England.
Since the fund was launched 52 groups have received funding 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.
Voluntary Norfolk’s work will support several hundred local carers and isolated young people who are part of its ‘Better Together’ project and are either at risk of or already experiencing fuel poverty with advice to address the situation.
Dave Crinson, Better Together’s service manager said: “The extra funding from UK Power Networks have been invaluable in allowing our staff to provide support and advice to residents across the county about how to save money on their energy bills.
“Not a day goes past when we don’t hear more stories about the cost-of-living crisis and the financial challenges households are facing. Unsurprisingly, worries about rising energy bills are at the forefront of many people’s minds here in Norfolk.
“That’s why the work we do has been so important and beneficial. Our life connectors continue to be on hand to work to with residents and advise them on how to save money: everything from explaining the cost savings of LED lightbulbs to providing information about how to access grants to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”
Giulia Privitera, social sustainability manager for UK Power Networks, said: “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.”
Power Partners is administered in partnership with leading energy justice charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).