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Credit Union of South East Northumberland Secures £49,000 for Fuel Poverty Project

The Credit Union for South East Northumberland (CUSEN), a financial cooperative based in Ashington and Blyth, has secured substantial funding to help alleviate fuel poverty in Northumberland.

The organisation has been awarded a funding boost of £49,022 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to help vulnerable households across the county.

Using the funding, CUSEN will employ a Home Heat Helper for its Home Heat Team.  The project officer will work across Northumberland to increase awareness of fuel poverty amongst some of the most vulnerable families in the area.  He or she will also highlight solutions to fuel poverty and encourage people to access energy efficiency loans which CUSEN  has available to help reduce fuel bills.

Expert energy advice will be available to individuals and families struggling to afford to keep warm at home. It is hoped that over 4000 people will also be helped to maximise their incomes through the initiative.

CUSEN will maximise incomes by calculating welfare benefit entitlement checks, offering guidance on swapping to cheaper energy suppliers and will promote the Home Heat project and its energy efficient loans. 

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust Company Secretary, said:

“We’re very pleased to support the Credit Union for South East Northumberland and provide funds to employ its Home Heat Helper. Individuals struggle with affordable warmth when more than 10% of their income is spent on energy usage and we work to alleviate this issue through grassroots organisations such as this.

“Projects such as the Home Heat Team from CUSEN provide essential and accessible help for local residents to ensure they have the correct information when it comes to energy use.  We are confident that our funding will help the organisation to continue to work with those in need and help alleviate fuel poverty for vulnerable residents.”

Maureen Levy, Development Manager at the Credit Union for South East Northumberland, said:

“We would like to thank ScottishPower Energy People Trust for its support and funding.  It will enable us to reach vulnerable residents and help them to heat their homes more efficiently.

“The Home Heat Help Team project will specifically help low income families in Northumberland who are financially excluded from mainstream financial services and who are struggling with their fuel bills.  We want to give our customers the opportunity to learn and understand the importance of how to heat their homes efficiently, get support and advice on fuel poverty issues and reduce the number of low income families suffering from fuel poverty. “

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity funded by ScottishPower and through voluntary donations from individual supporters.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012