Charities and community organisations across the UK have been offered a share of a £1 million government grant, to fund efforts advising consumers about the benefits of saving energy.
The government hopes the money will help vulnerable households, struggling to deal with rising energy bills, cut their spending.
From Monday, organisations such as parish councils, community energy groups and registered social landlords have been invited to bid for a portion of the new wave of funding.
Any group that works in advising customers on shopping around for cheaper energy providers, or supplies information on schemes that help lower bills, for example, will be eligible.
“We are doing everything possible to help people cut their energy bills,” said Ed Davey, energy and climate change secretary.
“But there are some things they can do to help themselves, like making sure they’re signed up to a competitive energy deal, and if they’re not, switching.
“This new funding means vital energy saving guidance can be targeted where it is needed most, so I urge local authorities, community groups and charities to come forward and help to take on this challenge.”
The cash will be made available through the Big Energy Saving Network, a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) initiative launched to support third sector organisations.
Last year, the network provided £900,000 to 160 successful projects. The government hopes to fund another 160 this time around. Applications must be submitted via DECC’s website by August 8.
Last month, a government report revealed that around 2.3 million people were living in fuel poverty in 2012. Worryingly, this figure is expected to rise in 2014.
While Ofgem has plans for a faster energy switching service, campaigners have urged the government to tackle the crisis by investing in energy efficiency in the UK’s ageing housing stock.
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