A Hartlepool group has been awarded a share of a £50,000 Northern Powergrid funding pot aimed at enabling new energy schemes to flourish in local communities.
The Northern Powergrid Seed Fund offers support for community energy projects in the inception stages and seed funding to provide help such as expert advice, feasibility studies and meeting spaces.
Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the network which delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the region, set up the fund to help fledgling energy generation, reduction, management or purchasing projects get off the ground - as well as encourage more creative renewable energy projects across the North East.
The fund, which is managed in partnership with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, received 21 applications from a range of community-based organisations and groups.
An expert panel including representatives from Community Energy England, National Energy Action, Northern Powergrid, Pure Leapfrog, Halltech Energy Partnership and Voluntary Organisation’s Network North East (VONNE) assessed the entries and selected the groups to become Northern Powergrid Community Seed Fund winners.
One of the winners was HartlePower CIC (Hartlepool) which will deliver a pilot energy advice project to help people to switch energy providers and save money through energy-saving measures in the home.
Income generated from the project, through referral payments received from major suppliers, will be reinvested into further developments within HartlePower.
Anne-Claire Leydier, sustainability manager at Northern Powergrid, said: “We congratulate the winners and look forward to following their projects as they prepare to get them off the ground in the months ahead.
“In addition to nurturing Community Energy, the Seed Fund is helping us understand the sector, how we can help, and also why we should help.”
Karen Daglish, Principal Advisor, Community Programmes at the Community Foundation, added: “Through our environmental research with LEAF and Vital Signs, we know that local giving can make a huge difference to community groups that seek to encourage people to ‘do the Green thing’ and so contribute to a more sustainable future for the planet.”