The Ofgem Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme (Energy Redress Scheme) has awarded £9.7 million in grants to 33 organisations across England, Scotland and Wales in its latest funding round.
The Energy Redress Scheme includes four types of funds: Main Fund (£8.9m), Small Project Fund (£168,000), Innovation Fund (£188,000) and Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund £435,000).
The latest round of funding will support the delivery of projects that are helping vulnerable households to heat and power their homes, with the aim of preventing a range of health, social and economic problems faced through the energy crisis. The successful projects contribute to the development of the skills, resources and infrastructure necessary to deliver effective support to households most in need.
The scheme also supports the development of innovative energy related products and services which focus on benefiting households, while helping to reduce the environmental impact of energy use. The Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund supports energy-related activities, such as generation, distribution and energy use, aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Now in its fifth year, the Energy Redress Scheme has to date distributed £78.6 million of funding, supporting 472 projects across England, Scotland and Wales.
The funding is collected through Ofgem’s enforcement and compliance activity. Energy companies that have breached rules agree to make a voluntary payment into the Energy Redress Scheme.
The latest group of successful organisations who applied for funding from the scheme will receive grants ranging from £35,000 to more than £658,000 to deliver projects lasting up to two years. These include:
Scope’s Disability Energy Support (DES) service, which is receiving £635k from the Main Fund to support 10,000 households with disabled residents across England and Wales with free, impartial energy advice which is tailored to their household’s needs. Support will be provided via a telephone appointment or bespoke email and action plan, supporting them to improve their ability to meet and afford their energy needs. Further signposting will be shared to external organisations offering additional support, such as grant payments or fuel vouchers, free energy efficiency equipment, or debt advice.
John McLachlan, executive director of services at disability equality charity Scope, said: “Life costs a lot more for disabled people. As costs keep spiralling, many feel they have run out of choices. While the cost of living crisis continues, demand for Scope’s Disability Energy Support service keeps soaring.
“The funding provided by Energy Saving Trust through the Energy Redress Scheme will allow Scope’s specialist advisers to support thousands of disabled people with their energy needs and provide a vital lifeline for those in fuel poverty”.
Citizens Advice SORT Group will receive £188,000 from the Innovation fund for their Switching to Smart initiative, a research program looking at smart thermostat use in Greater Manchester. The project will provide intensive energy advice via home visits, install smart thermostats and monitor the cost savings and energy consumption habits of 400 people living in fuel poverty.
Community Action Northumberland (CAN) will receive £159,000 from the Carbon Emissions Reduction Fund (CERF) to deliver trusted independent carbon reduction advice and support to rural households off the gas grid who face the most challenging response to the removal of fossil fuels. This advice will be delivered though a dedicated officer to provide direct, independent advice, supported by a trainee; support for individual households; a series of energy roadshows; website developments; and ongoing support for the 380 household members of their oil, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and coal buying group (OilCAN) to support their transition away from fossil fuels.
Andy Dean, chief executive, Community Action Northumberland, said: “This funding will enable us to provide advice and support to Northumberland’s off-gas grid residents. As significant carbon emitters, these households have been identified by government as the priority for transition from fossil fuel and yet face the greatest challenge. Households need to understand the best options for their properties to help make decisions on low or zero carbon installations; they need to have access to a trusted, independent source of advice and support. This is exactly what we aim to provide through this new project.”
Graham Ayling, senior project manager for the Energy Redress Scheme said: “The funding made available will help charities and community groups to provide immediate support to people struggling to heat and power their homes at this challenging time. These organisations have the direct relationships with communities that enable them to find people who might otherwise be forgotten, listening to their needs and empowering them. The projects will also help move us towards a more just energy system in the longer term, which is a key part of reaching net zero targets.”
Russell Ogilvie, head of enforcement at Ofgem, said:
“Since the introduction of the Energy Redress Scheme, which is funded by our robust compliance and enforcement activity, millions of pounds of support has been granted to organisations to support consumers in vulnerable circumstances. Helping people to meet the costs of their energy needs has never been more important and we are very happy to be able to provide such significant support to the latest group of projects to receive funding.”
Further information on the scheme and the application process can be found at energyredress.org.uk