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UK Power Networks pledges £1 million towards community energy groups

UK Power Networks has committed £1 million to assist community energy groups in enhancing their net zero initiatives.

The funding, which has been made available in collaboration with Community Energy South (CES), aims to support approximately 20 community organisations and charities. These groups are focused on aiding those potentially left behind in the net zero transition.

Community energy groups are essential in aiding vulnerable customers nationwide. This initiative will fund local employment opportunities, aiming to impact 20,000 individuals and facilitate over 1,200 in-home visits.

CES is set to manage the allocation of these funds, ensuring targeted support across London, the East, and South East of England. Six community energy groups are already involved, with plans underway to extend their energy advice services. Additional groups are expected to join in the project’s second phase starting in September.

Suleman Alli, Director of Finance, Customer Service and Technology at UK Power Networks, stated, “We’re extremely proud to be able to support the impactful work of community energy groups across the areas we serve. We hope this funding boost will make a meaningful difference to those in our community and provide our customers with support and guidance to ensure no one is left behind in the transition to net zero.”

As part of the program, CES will offer fully funded bespoke training for new recruits to become ‘energy champions’. This role is now considered a valuable career within the community energy sector.

An existing energy champion shared, “I enjoy visiting homes and meeting people and being able to help them with ideas on how they can improve their home and spend less money – and help the environment too. It’s a win-win! The training gave me the knowledge and confidence to be able to go out to people’s homes and talk to them about saving energy. The support from the leaders and wider group has been brilliant for when something different crops up.”

Ollie Pendered, Chief Executive Officer of CES, commented, “This is a groundbreaking moment for the community energy sector. The intrinsic value of all the hard work by thousands of volunteers across the country has been recognised, and through this campaign up to 20 community energy groups will have the opportunity to receive funding to create local job opportunities and deliver their energy saving campaigns within their communities. This is an extraordinary development and one we thank UK Power Networks for enabling.”

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