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New projects receive Energy Affordability Fund grants

Two women sit on the sofa looking at an ipad
20 February 2022

Six organisations have been awarded up to £20,000 of funding through the Energy Affordability Fund. This year, the projects will focus on tackling digital exclusion.

Each year, National Grid (previously Western Power Distribution) in partnership with CSE run a grant competition within theNational Grid network area to support not-for-profit organisations delivering innovative local initiatives to support people living in cold homes and unable to afford energy bills.

The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for energy advice organisations supporting vulnerable clients who are digitally excluded. The successful organisations are developing initiatives as we recover from the pandemic and develop new ways of working to effectively support vulnerable clients, in particular those who are digitally excluded.

The successful groups were:

Act on Energy
Will expand their existing advice service into Birmingham and specifically target people who are digitally excluded with energy advice. They will provide intensive home based support and installation of small measures along with in-depth support to help with basic IT skills. Project also includes some training for frontline workers on digital exclusion.

Citizens Advice Cornwall
Will expand existing energy advice service into new areas, build new partnerships and provide more access to hard-to-reach and digitally excluded clients. The project includes setting up Digital Help Hubs for people who cannot access online services.

Exeter Community Energy
Will build on existing energy advice service by using a variety of outreach channels and methods to reach digitally excluded clients including through drop-in clinics, doorstep events, networking for frontline workers and training of local energy champions.

Devon Communities Together
Will set up a new energy advice programme, targeting parts of Devon with many fuel poor, rural and digitally excluded households. Funding would help develop new partnerships and undertake targeted outreach and in-depth coaching on using IT and the internet for clients.

Severn Wye Energy Agency
Funding will enable more, longer and “enhanced” home visits, offering in-depth and holistic support to clients over a number of topics, including the installation of small measures.

Cwm Arian Renewable Energy 
Will develop an innovative approach of offering thermal imaging surveys to householders by training up peer-mentors to provide the surveys and advise clients in their homes. The project will also fund tablets to be rented out to households along with training on how to use and make the best use of them.

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