A bencom formed by Plymouth City Council and the local community has had its work tackling fuel poverty recognised at the United Nations COP21 Climate Summit in Paris. Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) will receive support to scale up its impact through Schneider Electric Foundation and Ashoka’s Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty programme.
It was selected along with 16 other projects from a field of 270 organisations across Europe. PEC will receive 100 hours of GlobalizerX professional business mentoring, designed to help social entrepreneurs focus on national and regional opportunities for scaling up social impact. The package includes advice, partnership opportunities, inspiration and ideas.
Alistair Macpherson, chief executive of Plymouth Energy Community, was at the launch event in Paris: “This is a fantastic opportunity to expand the work we do to support some of the most vulnerable in the city,” he said. “We’re really proud that our innovative work is now being recognised at an international level, and hugely excited about the opportunity we will have to learn from the best in the business.”
In Europe, between 50 and 125 million people are unable to heat their houses adequately. In Plymouth 14.3% of households (15,400 households) live in fuel poverty.
PEC is run by residents, for residents. It offers local people opportunities to save money and energy and works to increase the amount of community-owned renewable energy generated in the city.
In less than a year, its energy team helped 2,700 people with energy advice and provided home visits and direct support to 160 households, saving in excess of £143,000. Its fuel debt service, now covering Devon and Cornwall, has helped residents clear £120,000 of energy debt.
The mentoring will be provided over the next six months. Outcomes will be showcased at a two-day event next June in Paris.
- You can find all of our coverage from the COP21 conference here.