Smart Energy GB launches new fund for smart meter rollout

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COMMUNITY groups and not for profit organisations across Scotland are being offered access to grants to help difficult to reach people get their energy smart meter installed.

Every home in Britain will be offered a smart meter by 2020 at no additional cost.

Smart Energy GB is responsible for helping everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use the new meters to get their gas and electricity under control.

Small grants of up to £10,000 are now available for community organisations who will work directly with one or more of the priority groups on projects to be completed in 2016.

Applications will open from 6th June for large grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 for regional organisations that will help reach priority groups.

Today’s announcement is part of the Smart Energy GB in Communities programme, which is delivered by a consortium of charities - National Energy Action and Energy Action Scotland, Media Trust, and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

CAF, which has 45 years’ experience in designing and delivering strategic grant-making programmes, will manage the fund.

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said: “Our job at Smart Energy GB is to make sure absolutely everyone in Britain knows about and can benefit from smart meters. One of the biggest and most important challenges we face is reaching people who may not hear about smart meters through traditional routes, or who might need additional support to understand how they could benefit. These are often the people who will experience the most profound transformation in how their smart meters could help them get their gas and electricity under control.

“We can’t meet this challenge alone. Through the Smart Energy GB in Communities Fund, we’ll work with the organisations who already work with the people we need to reach – the charities and community groups supporting people around the country.”

David Stead, Director of Philanthropy at CAF, said: “We are delighted to be working with Smart Energy GB on this important campaign to help everyone in Great Britain understand and benefit from smart meters. CAF has considerable experience of running grant-making programmes and working with tens of thousands of charities across the country. Improving people’s lives is what charities do best. This fund provides a real opportunity for charities to make a difference by ensuring that no one gets left behind in reaping the advantages of the smart meter rollout.”

Lord Bourne, Energy Minister, Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “Everyone should have the same opportunities to have a smart meter installed and experience the benefits of accurate bills and being in control of your energy use. The grants programme is vital to support those non-for-profit organisations who go above and beyond the call of duty to help people in need.”