Energy regulator Ofgem is offering £27 million to fuel poverty campaigners & energy co-operatives in a bid to assist vulnerable homes caught in the ‘heat or eat’ dilemma caused by this year’s two liftings of the energy price cap.
This week, premier Johnson was interrogated by presenter Susanna Reid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain about the dilemma of ‘Elsie’, a pensioner forced to ride on buses all day, escaping the home she could no longer afford to heat.
Among Ofgem’s responses is its Energy Redress Scheme. It distributes money collected in fines from suppliers neglecting their licence obligations, recycling funds towards volunteer-run groups.
Fuel poverty this year has been forecast to affect as many as 4.4 million homes by this December.
The scheme began four years ago. In March, the Energy Savings Trust charity was re-appointed to run it.
Many of England’s 200-plus energy co-operatives combine local generation with volunteer-led outreach efforts to insulate poor folks’ homes, and tp provide advice and advocacy when affected billpayers must negotiate with suppliers.
Graham Ayling, manager of the programme, observed: ““We know that there are hundreds of charities and community groups that are already working tirelessly to help energy consumers address these challenges, so the timing of this new funding couldn’t be better.
“We look forward to funding projects that help those most in need through this difficult time, as well as shaping a greener and fairer energy future.”
The regulator has split its cash support as follows. All are accessible via the link above.
- A total of £18 million supports projects looking for grants between £50,000 and £2 million, assisting households in vulnerable situations.
- Grants between £20,000 to £50,000 are available from a “small project” fund of £1m.
- Insulation programmes, energy efficiency upgrades and the volunteers who deliver them, can apply for one or both of a £4m innovation fund and a £4m fund for reducing carbon emissions.
Again, full details are on the EST’s website here.