Recognition for local fuel poverty fighters

Community News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Community News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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Local groups working to fight fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency are being urged to apply for the 2013-14 Community Action Awards.

The awards, run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action and supported by British Gas and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, recognise excellence and innovation in the fields of tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency amongst vulnerable households.

Winners will receive up to £3,500 as well as additional financial and practical support to hold their own community engagement events. The scheme is open to entry by all not for profit agencies in England including charities, community groups, and local authorities.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at NEA said: “Government estimate that 2.3 million households in England were living in fuel poverty in 2011, unable to afford the energy they need to stay warm and healthy in their homes; however the depth of the problem facing these households is likely to be significantly greater in 2013. Community groups and other local organisations play a vital role in helping to identify and assist those who are struggling to heat their homes affordably and this is the opportunity to recognise some of the ground-breaking initiatives that are being developed to tackle this problem.”

Christine Tate, Head of Corporate Responsibility at British Gas said: “At a time when household budgets are stretched, British Gas is committed to helping customers to save money whilst keeping warm and well keep and improving energy efficiency. This award scheme is a great opportunity for partnership working and for voluntary agencies, community groups and local authorities to demonstrate effective ways of engaging the most vulnerable groups including those in rural and hard-to-treat properties, to tackle these issues and address fuel poverty.”

The Rt Hon Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said: “I’m determined that we tackle the scourge of fuel poverty. The Community Action Award will showcase some excellent examples of how promoting energy efficiency can help to reduce bills, cut carbon and improve comfort for those who need it most in the community.

“We’re taking action to help energy consumers this winter. We’re helping two million households this year through the Warm Home Discount, including many of the most vulnerable pensioners. Over 173,000 homes will be cosier this winter, after having energy efficiency measures installed through the Energy Company Obligation.”

If you are involved in an innovative local project related to the fight against fuel poverty, promoting affordable warmth and energy efficiency to vulnerable households in your community you could be one of the winners of the Community Action Award 2013-14. To find out more about how to enter, visit www.nea.org.uk