03 Feb 2023

Human interest North West

Electricity North West launches £1.75m partnership fund

Electricity North West-41

Record funding for charities and organisations throughout the North West will soon be made available with £1.75m up for grabs over the next five years.

Electricity North West, which operates the region’s power network, wants to hear from North West-based charities, groups and organisations and form partnerships which will help support customers across the region in the event of a power cut.

The partnerships will start in April with the overall aim to ensure customers have both support and feel safe during a power cut. 

Jo Crinson, Electricity North West’s customer and community development manager, said: “It’s an incredibly difficult time for so many people. We keep power flowing to every property from Cumbria to Cheshire through our overhead lines and underground cables, and while our charges make up less than 10% of overall electricity bills, we want to do everything we can to help our communities.  

“Partnerships are a vital part of how we deliver crucial services to anyone who lives, learns or works in the North West.

“As well as providing expert support and advice to customers, our new partners will help customers join our Extra Care Register, a free service which grants customers access to partners as well as additional help and support during power cuts.”

Electricity North West is increasing its funding after research it carried out has revealed a gap of more than 300,000 people who are eligible for its Extra Care Register but haven’t signed up yet.

The power network operator wants customers who need extra help to register for its Extra Care Register so help can be provided quicker. Help provided includes advanced notifications and enhanced updates on power cuts, safety tailored to customer needs, connection to local emergency services and in some cases food, shelter or alternative accommodation in the event of longer power cuts.

Many customers can join the Extra Care register including those who are at a pensionable age and parents/guardians with children under five as well as people with a disability or in vulnerable circumstances.

Through its partnerships, Electricity North West helped 11,000 customers save £4.4m through advice and support over the last 12 months.

 “Thousands of customers have already benefitted from the work we do with partners,” adds Jo. “And going forward, our aim is to help even more who reach out to us for help.”

Electricity North West is now inviting applications from charities, organisations and businesses within its catchment area.

Groups who apply must be able to help Electricity North West proactively keep vulnerable customers safe by identifying and supporting them to sign up to the free Extra Care Register.

Deadline for submissions is Friday 31 March. For more information, please visit https://www.enwl.co.uk/power-cuts/extra-care/meet-our-partners/ or email partnerships@enwl.co.uk.