Smart Energy GB’s in Communities Fund Offers Grants to Charities Helping Vulnerable People and Carers During the Energy Crisis
The Smart Energy GB in Communities fund is now open for applications from charities and voluntary organisations. Grants of up to £25,000 are available to help people in vulnerable circumstances understand the personal and national benefits of smart meters.
The Smart Energy GB in Communities fund works with expert regional organisations from the voluntary and public sectors to ensure those who may need extra information or support understand how smart meters may help them manage their energy use and how to request an installation.
With energy bills on the rise, the Smart Energy GB in Communities fund provides funding streams for organisations to speak to fuel poor households and people who struggle with technology – those defined as lacking digital skills - about the vital benefits smart meters could bring.
Funds are also available for organisations and groups reaching people who are unpaid carers. Applications must be received by 12 noon Friday, 10th February 2023.
Smart Energy GB is the independent, non-profit, government-backed organisation that helps households and small businesses across Great Britain to understand how smart meters can benefit them, their families and the environment. A smart meter is being offered to every household in Britain by energy suppliers at no extra cost. More than half of British homes have got a smart meter.
In the home, the smart meter’s in-home display shows how much energy is used in near-real time and in pounds and pence, allowing people to keep track of budgets and better manage their energy use. This can be particularly helpful for many vulnerable customers during these difficult times.
Smart meters also remove the inconvenience of taking manual meter readings as they automatically send accurate meter readings directly to energy suppliers. This is especially useful for customers in vulnerable circumstances, as there is no need for estimated bills or manual readings. For prepay customers, smart meters also make it possible to top up their meters from home.
On top of the benefits to households, smart meters form part of an essential upgrade that will make Britain’s energy infrastructure smarter, greener and less wasteful.
Last year, Imago Community received a grant to reach people across Kent, Medway, East Sussex and London. The Director, Jenny Wilders, said:
“Since receiving the grant, Imago Community have increased the awareness of the benefits of smart meters, how to obtain one, and supported individuals by providing the contact information for their energy supplier. Feedback from some consumers in group session said that they have been extremely grateful for all our support and are happy with their smart meters making them more aware of what savings they can make.”
From Smart Energy GB, Phillippa Brown the Deputy Director of Specialist Audiences, says:
“Whether you are a previous or a new applicant, we welcome the great ideas you have to spread the word about smart meters to your communities. The six years of experience we’ve had working with partners across Great Britain have proved the credibility and trust our partners hold in their communities and are therefore well placed to communicate the benefits that smart meters can bring.”
The bid fund is being coordinated by the charities National Energy Action (NEA) and supported by Energy Action Scotland (EAS). Grants will be awarded to regionally-based organisations, with local networks, that have a trusted voice amongst people who are:
1. In fuel poverty: The total amount requested should be between £15,000 and £25,000
2. Lacking basic digital skills: defined as lacking the digital skills to manage information, communicate, transact, problem solve or create basic digital content. The total amount of grant requested should be between £10,000 and £15,000
3. Carers: defined as someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or who needs extra help as they grow older. The total amount of grant requested should be between £7,500 and £10,000.
Housing associations, registered charities and non-registered community groups are eligible to apply. Applications are welcome from former applicants, both successful and unsuccessful.
Applications must be received by 12 noon Friday 10th February 2023 and funded activities must be completed by 6th December 2023.
Further information is available at: https://www.nea.org.uk/work-with-us/smart-meters/smart-grants-2023/