£400k National Grid Innovation award – winners announced!

Five organisations across the country are celebrating after securing a share of £400,000 funding for an innovative project to tackle fuel poverty in their community, as part of the National Grid Energy Efficiency Innovation Award scheme.

The scheme that was launched across National Grid’s four gas distribution networks provides a £400k fund to support major innovations to tackle fuel poverty and deliver energy efficiency solutions in communities, with five agencies in total receiving awards. Subject to final contract arrangements, winning agencies; CityWest Homes, Walsall Housing Group, Southway Housing Trust, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Derbyshire County Council will start delivering their projects in January 2015.

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions said ‘National Grid is committed to providing sustainable, innovative and affordable energy and we recognise that investing in energy efficiency brings multiple benefits to communities and householders. We know that some of the best ideas come from within communities and that funding is often the major obstacle to them coming to fruition. The scheme is the first of its kind and I am really excited to see what benefits it brings to communities and how we can share this learning with our partners.’

Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive of National Energy Action (NEA), the national fuel poverty charity and one of the award scheme judges said: ‘4.5 million UK households are living in fuel poverty, unable to heat their homes affordably. Action by local agencies is key to tackling this issue, and we are excited to see how the projects develop and how the lives of fuel poor residents improve over the next year ’.

The scheme, which is funded by National Grid and community interest company Affordable Warmth Solutions is being administered by NEA. All projects will be reporting and sharing outcomes from each project throughout the process.

End notes:

1. Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) is a Community Interest Company (CIC) established by National Grid to help fight fuel poverty by providing new gas connections and investing in energy efficiency measures in homes that lie within the most deprived areas of its gas distribution area (Midlands, the North West, North London and East Anglia).

2. National Energy Action is the national charity which aims to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help those who are poor and vulnerable. For more information visit www.nea.org.uk.

3. Subject to completing the final contract stage the following winners have been announced: CityWest Homes, Walsall Housing Group, Southway Housing Trust, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Derbyshire County Council.