National Grid has announced that over 9,000 homes ranging from island cottages on Orkney to terraced houses in London are set to benefit from the first payments from its new £150 million Warm Homes Fund.
The fund was set up using part of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s majority stake in its gas distribution business. It will fund the installation of affordable heating solutions in fuel poor households which don’t use mains gas as their primary source of heat.
The £150m from National Grid comes on top of the £589m already being returned to consumers on a voluntary basis by the company, bringing the total announced this year to £739m.
Following the first round of bidding, a total of £33m is now being awarded to 35 local authorities and social landlords representing partnerships across England, Scotland and Wales.
The money will be used to provide new heating systems for homes and will also fund programmes to help people with health conditions living in fuel poor households.
The awards include £5m to Stroud District Council, £3.5m to Cornwall County Council, £2.8m to the councils of Suffolk and £1.5m to Orkney Islands Council. Others will help authorities targeting inner city fuel poverty. Greater Manchester Combined Authority will receive £1.8m and Islington, representing a consortium of boroughs will receive £1.5m. (List of successful bidders below).
John Pettigrew, Chief Executive of National Grid, said: “The aim of our new fund is threefold; to help to reduce bills, make fuel poor households warmer, and improve the health of people suffering the most severe levels of fuel poverty.
“Around 4.5 million households across the country are in fuel poverty with people not able to heat their homes enough to stay warm and healthy. Many are struggling on low incomes and are relying on heating systems that are expensive to run or don’t heat their homes properly. In many cases, because of their circumstances or the type of property they live in, they can’t apply for existing grant schemes.”
“National Grid has decided to make this significant voluntary contribution of £150m to establish the Warm Homes Fund in recognition of the challenges that people face living in cold, damp and energy inefficient homes.”
The fund is managed by Affordable Warmth Solutions, a Community Interest Company (CIC) which was established by National Grid in 2008 to fight the misery of fuel poverty.
The Warm Homes Fund was launched in late spring 2017 and provides financial support for the installation of affordable heating solutions in many thousands of fuel poor households which don’t use mains gas as their primary source of energy.
One of the objectives of the fund is to maximise commercial opportunities from partner organisations to bring in additional funding. More than £30m has already been committed by partner organisations.
Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said: “We are excited about this investment from National Grid and we’re indebted for the support of our communications partner, National Energy Action (NEA) in reaching our target audiences.”
“Solving the issues associated with Fuel Poverty continues to challenge many of our stakeholders and the feedback we’ve already received provides evidence of how the Warm Homes Fund will make a positive difference to thousands of homes throughout the country.”
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