A record £2.5m support fund to help vulnerable customers this winter is being pledged by National Grid, the electricity distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West and South Wales. The shareholder-funded initiative has been set up as an urgent response to the national cost of living crisis.
National fuel poverty charity the Fuel Bank Foundation has reported a 75 per cent increase in the number of people needing its support in the last 12 months, as the cost of living crisis worsens. With many households facing financial hardship this winter, National Grid is calling on charities, councils and community groups of all sizes across its region to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to tackle fuel poverty in their communities.
This is the latest round of grants from National Grid’s annual Community Matters Fund 100 grassroots organisations received crucial fuel poverty grants after making successful applications to the fund.
Alison Sleightholm, Regulation and Corporate Director at National Grid, said: “Every household deserves to have a warm and happy home – and tackling fuel poverty is a vital and pressing priority for us this winter. Over the past two years, we have worked with partners to deliver £20 million of direct savings for over 40,000 customers struggling to pay their bills, and the Community Matters Fund, provided entirely by the company’s shareholders, promises to offer further support to our communities.
“We are looking to support, and partner with, community groups and organisations to achieve positive change, and we welcome funding applications from diverse community groups and organisations.”
Building on feedback from last year’s fuel poverty fund, charities and community groups will also have access to a range of free training and energy efficiency advice materials which they can tailor and share with their communities, to support planned or existing projects.
Support will be given to projects including, but not limited, to:
- Warm banks
- Energy efficiency guidance and products: Insulation installations, updating heating systems
- Grant/discount scheme advice
- Innovation/other to be detailed and impact clearly specified and demonstrated
Registered charities, community groups and local authorities are all eligible to apply, using the application form available at www.nationalgrid.co.uk/community-matters-fund. National Grid will consider applications for sums up to £10,000.
The closing date for submissions is Monday 31 October. Follow the fund on social media #GridCommunityFund
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