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New fund will help London young carers and ill children save money on energy bills

A London charity will be reaching out to those in vulnerable circumstances, including young carers and families with children who have long-term health conditions, to help reduce their energy bills

From Press releases - 29 May 2019 12:00 AM

Groundwork London Green Doctor visits a resident.jpg

Groundwork London has received almost £20,000 in the first ever round of Power Partners awards from UK Power Networks, the UKs largest electricity distributor. The grant will also be used to hold training sessions and workshops to train other organisations how to identify those living in *fuel poverty and direct them to the right support.

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.

Groundwork’s new POWER (Providing Outreach with Energy in-need Residents) scheme will create 100 drop in sessions across the capital, targeted at some of the most vulnerable residents. Two key groups they plan to concentrate on are young carers and families with young people with long term mental and physical health conditions.

The charity also wants to extend its work to develop partnerships with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools, which will include educational sessions for parents and staff on using energy efficiently at home, tariff switching, signing up to a free Priority Services Register, energy saving and smart meters.
Rebekah Phillips, environmental services manager for Groundwork London said; "We are delighted to be awarded this money from UK Power Networks. The money will fund POWER, our outreach and events programme.  Our work will ensure that the most vulnerable in London can access our Green Doctor service, helping them lower their bills and manage their home energy use. In particular, we aim to target young carers and those families with ill children at home, using a new method of working with schools."

Veronika Karailieva, stakeholder engagement manager for UK Power Networks, said: “We had a fantastic response to our first ever round of applications for our new Power Partners Fund and choosing 16 projects to support was quite a task.
“This project will help make sure people living in vulnerable circumstances in London don’t miss out on vital and practical help around energy use and keeping their costs down. Groundwork London will 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 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.”

Newly-launched Power Partners is 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 chance to apply, is due to be announced shortly. For more details visit: https://www.cse.org.uk/projects/view/1356

**Fuel poverty is measured using the Low Income High Costs (LIHC) 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