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Lowestoft charity benefits from becoming a Power Partner

A Lowestoft charity will offer a warmer and more comfortable community space thanks to an £20,000 grant from UK Power Networks’ Power Partners fund.

From Press releases - 11 July 2019 12:00 AM

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Citizens Advice North East Suffolk applied for the power company’s help to transform the experience of the 3,000 local people who visit St Margaret’s House in the centre of Lowestoft every year.

The Grade II listed Victorian building in Gordon Road is poorly heated and not insulated meaning rooms there can be cold for those who visit to access its welfare advice services, including young families, the disabled and those with long-term health conditions.

The UK Power Networks funding means the charity can now reduce energy consumption in the building as well as its carbon footprint. This will be achieved by upgrading the LED lighting and installing modern programmable heaters for a new efficient heating system.

Energy savings are predicted to hit around £3,000 annually, cutting the current heating costs by half, so the charity can use the savings to support other areas of its work such as training additional volunteers.

UK Power Networks, the country’s largest electricity distribution network, is awarding over a quarter of a million pounds’ worth of funding to help boost energy efficiency within local communities.

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 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-ever round of funding saw over £250,000 worth of grants distributed to recipients that include charities, community groups, and associations that promote energy efficiency.

Janet John, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice North East Suffolk, said:  “We are most appreciative of the grant we have been awarded by UK Power Networks that will make such a difference to the many people of Lowestoft who seek our help here at St Margaret’s House.

“We’ll now be able to create a comfortable environment for everyone, cut our carbon emissions and reduce our electricity bills too saving us much needed funds for use elsewhere in the charity.”

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 North East Suffolk has put the money to excellent use by delivering a project 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.”

The UK Power Networks’ Power Partners scheme has reopened for more applications. Visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) website for updates: https://www.cse.org.uk/projects/view/1356