Six UK charities have been awarded over £280,000 in funding for sustainable energy projects in the first round of grants from the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme.
Energy Saving Trust, which was appointed by Ofgem to distribute the Energy Redress Scheme monies to eligible charitable organisations, announced the first phase of funding following a rigorous assessment period. The Energy Redress Scheme is funded by voluntary payments made by energy companies following enforcement and compliance action by Ofgem.
The overarching aim of the Energy Redress Scheme is to distribute available funds to support energy consumers in vulnerable situations and the development of products or services which would provide a benefit for certain groups of energy consumers.
The first round of funding will see £40,000 go towards a community heating network in Stirlingshire, £75,000 for the creation of a one-stop energy advice service in Rochdale, Tameside and Bury, and nearly £40,000 for the creation of a new programme to help make heating controls accessible for visually impaired people in Northumberland.
Other successful applications include £63,000 for a 20-month programme to help 5,000 vulnerable residents in Wirral, £35,000 for an innovative cooking and lighting energy saving programme on Lewis, and £28,000 to create a voluntary energy champion programme in Wigan.
Mike Thornton, group director of operations at Energy Saving Trust said: “The first round of awards for the Energy Redress Scheme demonstrate the ability of charities and their partners to help consumers, especially vulnerable consumers, with their energy bills.
“We’ve seen very strong interest in the fund and we look forward to working with charitable organisations to support more customers when the second round of funding opens in the autumn.”
Anthony Pygram, director of conduct and enforcement at Ofgem, said: “We are pleased to see the first awards to charities of payments from energy companies to the Voluntary Redress Scheme following Ofgem’s enforcement and compliance activity. These grants will help vulnerable customers throughout the UK through a number of schemes, as well as investing in new and innovative products and services for consumers.
“We look forward to seeing the impact from the first round of funding and working with the Energy Saving Trust to reach even more vulnerable customers through the redress fund in the future.”
When funds become available, registered eligible organisations will be sent an application pack including guidance and details of any additional priorities applied to the funding. Once submitted, these applications will be assessed on the quality of the project proposal, its potential impact and its relevance to the fund's priorities