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A Sheffield based project which provided information for families most at risk of fuel poverty equipped 7,000 people with advice to help them manage their fuel bills more effectively.

The “Family Fuel Busters” project was provided with £83,180 of funding by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to enable families to access support to reduce their energy usage and manage their fuel bills to avoid fuel debt and disconnection.

Over 4,000 households have been helped since the project was launched in October 2009, equipping residents with the tools and knowledge to manage their energy usage.

Run by the South Yorkshire Energy Centre, located at Heeley City Farm, the family focused project provided fuel saving information to local residents through fun and engaging events such as family fun days, school assemblies and home visits.

Family fun day events allowed both adults and children to learn about smart fuel usage and energy efficiency together meaning that the information was also instilled in younger generations for the future. Over 35 “Fuel Buster” fun days took place helping over 1,600 people alone.

Sheffield households have also been able to access support through in-depth and tailored advice in their own homes. These visits helped householders to identify wasteful energy practices and demonstrated how energy bills could be reduced to help save money.

As a result of accessing the advice service, many clients now have reduced fuel bills and thus have more money to spend in local shops and businesses therefore providing a boost to the local economy.

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary, said: “We’re delighted that funding the ScottishPower Energy People Trust provided has helped so many people and families in Sheffield.  Many households helped were in fuel poverty when more than 10% of their income was being spent on energy usage. The advice provided has enabled them to work towards saving energy and reducing their bills.”

Kate Stott, Head of Sustainable Communities at South Yorkshire Energy Centre, said: “ScottishPower Energy People Trust funding has enabled our Fuel Busters project to reach out into the community and provide valuable and necessary advice on how to alleviate fuel debt. Home visits and public events have been very effective ways of engaging residents about the issues that affect them.

“Many individuals were unaware of the help that was available to them. This funding has allowed us to provide information in a straightforward and personal way.

“We would like to thank the ScottishPower Energy People Trust for its funding and are delighted that we have reached many more people than anticipated.”

Established in November 2005, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust provides vital funding for not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable people including families, young people, the disabled and the elderly, who need to spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.

To date, the Trust has awarded over £9 million to 182 projects helping over 1,520,579 people in 1,270,971 households throughout Britain. The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity funded by ScottishPower and through voluntary donations from individual supporters. For further information on the Trust, please visit: 

Monday, December 12, 2011