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Cambridge households helped to avoid fuel poverty

Vulnerable households in Cambridge will be warmer, save money and escape *fuel poverty thanks to a £20,000 grant to an environmental charity.

From Press releases - 23 February 2021 12:00 AM

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PECT is partnering with Cambridge City Council to find those who are struggling the most in order to reduce their energy costs, access grants, find additional support and provide small home improvements. The grant has been awarded under the Power Partners scheme run by UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity across the East of England, London and the South East.

PECT plans to target the 8,000 plus residents in Cambridge who are in receipt of either housing benefit or a council tax reduction and are at potential risk of falling into fuel poverty.

As well as helping residents, the charity is going to give energy efficiency training to 40 frontline workers, Covid hub workers and volunteers to enable them to help others, including the elderly, clinically vulnerable and people living with disabilities or on low incomes.

Karen Igho, PECT’s Health and Wellbeing lead said: “Now, more than ever before, our help is needed to provide local residents with the support they need to cut their energy costs and stay warm and healthy. A cold home can cause condensation and damp, leading to mould, which can make respiratory problems worsen. Keeping homes adequately heated is so important, especially with the risk of Covid-19, for those who are already vulnerable or living in cold homes.”  

The charity has already worked with hundreds of households across East Anglia, saving residents more than £105,000 through tariff switching, behaviour change advice and Warm Home Discount applications. 

UK Power Networks has funded 30 projects with local partners over the past year under its Power Partners scheme. In the fourth round of funding nine not-for-profit organisations and community groups have secured a total of around £180,000, to help combat the growing issue of fuel poverty during the pandemic 

Giulia Privitera, social sustainability strategy and programme manager at UK Power Networks, said: “Our fuel poverty strategy is built around the evolving needs of our customers and relies on creating strong partnerships with local organisations like PECT who deliver energy advice and support out in the communities where it is needed the most.

“Since 2019 our Power Partners projects have explored new ways to tackle fuel poverty and have already made a real impact for people who struggle to pay their energy bills. The growing financial difficulties caused by an unprecedented pandemic means that providing accessible and timely support in helping energy consumers cut their costs is more important than ever.”

The fund, administered in partnership with leading energy justice charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy, is open to not-for-profit organisations and community organisations. For more details email powerpartners@cse.org.uk or call 0117 934 1400.

UK Power Networks also runs a Priority Service Register which people living in vulnerable circumstances can sign up to and get free extra help if a power cut ever happens. To apply visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priorityservices, ring 0800 169 9970, or email psr@ukpowernetworks.co.uk