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£14,000 energy efficiency boost for struggling households

Hundreds of struggling householders in Kent will be helped to save money, thanks to a new partnership between Citizens Advice and UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 14 May 2019 12:00 AM

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Citizens Advice in North and West Kent (CANWK) has secured a £14,600 award from the electricity company’s new Power Partners fund to help people in vulnerable circumstances save money by switching energy supplier or tariff, get grants and discounts and change their energy use.

Launched earlier this year, the power company’s Power Partners community investment fund aims to support organisations that work to alleviate fuel poverty, support people in vulnerable circumstances and make community buildings warmer and cheaper to heat.

The new project aims to help people in Tonbridge and Malling, Sevenoaks, Swanley, Dartford and Gravesend, including people with disabilities, those with long-term health conditions, mental health difficulties, the homeless, survivors of domestic violence, people from isolated communities, those on low incomes, in fuel poverty and living in high areas of deprivation.

Angela Newey, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice in North and West Kent (CANWK), said: “We’re delighted to receive this support from UK Power Networks to support our most vulnerable communities to save money and stay warm. This partnership means we can deliver energy efficiency advice throughout the spring and summer, enabling people to act on discount offers and make effective energy efficiency changes before next winter.”

Veronika Karailieva, stakeholder engagement manager for UK Power Networks, said: “We had a fantastic response to our first round of applications for our new Power Partners fund and choosing 16 projects to support was quite a task.
 
“Citizens Advice in North and West Kent will put the money to excellent use by delivering projects that will make a lasting contribution in providing extra help and support to some of our most vulnerable customers. We already serve at least 1.7 million people living in vulnerable circumstances by providing additional support and advice on energy matters via our Priority Services Register. We recognise there are wider communities that could benefit from extra help via our Power Partners fund to reduce energy bills or help to make community spaces more energy efficient.”

Experts from CANWK will work with a range of community organisations across north and west Kent, including foodbanks, charities helping people who are homeless, survivors of domestic violence, carers and people experiencing mental health difficulties, to make a difference to over 500 people in vulnerable circumstances.

The charity is one of the first ever organisations to receive a share of the new Power Partners fund, worth £300,000 a year in total. The fund is available to community organisations across the South East, London and East of England that give advice to people in fuel poverty to help them reduce their energy bills or make community spaces more energy efficient through insulation, heating or lighting upgrades.

Power Partners is administered in partnership with leading energy justice charity, the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The next round of funding is due to be announced in the summer. For details on how to apply visit: https://www.cse.org.uk/projects/view/1356