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Buckinghamshire charity benefits from becoming a Power Partner

A Milton Keynes-based charity will offer energy advice to people in vulnerable circumstances thanks to a £18,822 grant from UK Power Networks’ new Power Partners fund.

From Press releases - 6 June 2019 12:00 AM

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The National Energy Foundation (NEF), set up in 1988, seeks to improve the use of energy in buildings including people’s homes. The money will help drive the ‘Better Housing Better Health’ project in Buckinghamshire which will offer energy and warmth advice via a free helpline.

This service will include home energy visits across towns like Aylesbury and Chesham for people living in fuel poverty or cold homes.

The charity provides advice on all aspects of energy efficiency, including advice on switching supplier, to people across Buckinghamshire where there are estimated to be around 17,000 *fuel poor households.

UK Power Networks, the country’s largest electricity distribution network, is awarding £300,000 worth of funding to help boost energy efficiency within local communities this year through its Power Partners fund. It 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 fund, which is administered in partnership with leading energy justice charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has selected 16 recipients from across UK Power Networks’ distribution area of the East and South East of England and London.

This first round of funding will see £254,452 worth of grants distributed to charities, community groups and associations that promote energy efficiency.

Matt Neal, project development manager of the National Energy Foundation, said “We’re really grateful to have been awarded the Power Partners grant as it will allow us to engage local communities by providing outreach events and staff training sessions aimed at supporting vulnerable and low-income households.

“We can then offer bespoke advice and energy efficiency grants to help keep people warm in their homes which will ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of Buckinghamshire residents and UK Power Networks customers.”

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.
 
“NEF 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 more people who could benefit from extra help via our Power Partners fund.”

Power Partners will reopen for more applications soon. Visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) website for updates: https://www.cse.org.uk/projects/view/1356

**Fuel poverty is measured using the Low Income High Costs indicator; a household is considered to be fuel poor if:
• they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level)
• were they to spend that amount, they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line