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Easter appeal: UK Power Networks gives charities more time to stake a claim on a slice of £300,000 grants fund.

One of the UK’s biggest electricity distributors is extending the deadline that charities and community groups can apply for a share of its £300,000 Power of Giving (PoG) fund to 30 April.

From Press releases - 16 April 2014 09:05 AM

One of the UK’s biggest electricity distributors is extending the deadline that charities and community groups can apply for a share of its £300,000 Power of Giving (PoG) fund to 30 April, and we are looking for some inspiring entries from around London. The fund is allocated in equal measure to the three areas we cover, so London schemes are eligible for one third, or £100,000 of the total fund.

UK Power Networks delivers electricity to 8 million people in London, the South East and East of England. Through its PoG Fund, it aims to reach communities within its geographic footprint directly and to contribute to the projects that support local communities in areas such as enhancing energy efficiency, reducing fuel poverty and transitioning to low carbon economy.

London is the area that has had the fewest applicants so far, bosses at UK Power Networks say, and they’re hoping that this Easter appeal will see many more applicants from the capital rush to claim a stake.

UK Power Networks is investing in making improvements to the communities, which awards grants to projects in the three regions we supply power to. Any local group can apply, providing they fulfil one of the following criteria:

• A registered charity
• A not for profit community organisation;
• A Parish or Town Council
• A social enterprise
• A not-for-profit educational establishment

The fund, which was set up in June 2013, is still in its pilot year and supports local communities in different ways, ranging from promoting low carbon electricity generation, to helping to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency.  We have already allocated over £100,000 for successful projects in the past year.

Grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are available for initiatives like this and one example of how this has been implemented in London is via  the not-for-profit group, Energy Solutions, which received funding to support its ‘Warming up Winter’ initiative. The fund is an energy support service for vulnerable customers in North West London.

London Sustainability Exchange, which works with decision makers across the city to create more sustainable communities, also received support for its project to recruit ‘resilience champions’ – volunteers who assist during power outages.

Once applications are shortlisted, a panel of experts made up of representatives from UK Power Networks, The British Red Cross, Natural England and National Energy Action, will decide who will be successful. Since the process started they have allocated over £100,000 to applicant projects from across London, the South East and East of England.

UK Power Networks’ Director of Customer Services, Matt Rudling, said: “This is the first year of this initiative and already we have seen some wonderful projects come forward, with some original and innovative ideas on how to help the communities we serve across our three regions.

“I would really encourage London groups to start applying and get involved in this fund and we’ll be on hand to guide people through the process and provide as much information as we can to help local groups with their submissions. This can make a real difference to those that need support the most.”

Applicants are encouraged to keep in mind that projects need to demonstrate a link with at least one of the following themes:

• Managing the transition to low carbon economy
• Eradicating fuel poverty and protecting vulnerable customers
• Promote energy saving
• Ensure a secure and reliable electricity supply
• Supporting improvements in all aspects of the environment