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Help for families on low incomes in Wealden

Single parents and people on low incomes in Wealden will benefit from an energy efficiency project, thanks to an £11,000 grant from UK Power Networks’ new Power Partners fund.

From Press releases - 9 May 2019 12:00 AM

Forest Row Energy Cooperative logo.jpg

Forest Row Community Energy Coop Ltd (FRECL) is identifying inefficient homes in the most deprived areas to provide targeted advice, training and energy efficiency to help people to keep warm, live more comfortably and save money on energy bills.

The project will help single parents, older people, those on low incomes, with disabilities and special needs. They will receive expert support to help switch their energy supplier, use cheaper tariffs, adopt money-saving efficiencies in their home and register for free extra help with electricity, gas and water companies.

The funding will enable 100 individual energy advice sessions, training for up 40 frontline workers and distribution of 500 energy efficiency packs. It builds on UK Power Networks’ efforts across the South East, London and East of England, to give money-saving advice and hold energy efficiency workshops to help people in *fuel poverty. The company runs local electricity networks and delivered energy advice and support last year to more than 525,000 people.

Launched earlier this year, the power company’s Power Partners 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.

Esmé Donghi-Wild, director of Forest Row Community Energy Coop Ltd (FRECL), said: “We are pleased to work in partnership with UK Power Networks to develop an innovative, replicable approach to help alleviate fuel poverty by targeting help and resources in our local area according to deprivation and energy inefficiency.”

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.

“Forest Row Community Energy Coop Ltd (FRECL) 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. Around 1.6 million people live in vulnerable circumstances in the regions we serve which is why providing advice to reduce energy bills or help to make community spaces more energy efficient is so important.”

A new fuel poverty map developed by the scheme will indicate energy performance ratings in the most deprived areas, trusted groups that can work in these areas to support the programme and locations where advice and training has been completed or energy advice packs issued.

FRECL is the first ever organisation in East Sussex 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

*Fuel poverty means being unable to afford to keep one's home adequately heated.