30 Jan 2024

North West

£1.4m fund targets 250,000 people who could be getting free support

Representatives from Citizens Advice and Electricity North West

Bumper funds have been made available to charities and organisations throughout the North West with £1.4m up for grabs over the next four years. 

Analysis carried out by power network operator, Electricity North West, has revealed a gap of more than 250,000 people who are eligible for its free Extra Care Register but aren’t yet signed up. 

The network now wants to partner with North West-based charities, groups and organisations to help customers across the region access the support they are entitled to. 

Samantha Loukes, Electricity North West’s head of customer inclusion, said: “We invest millions every year to keep the North West power network one of the most reliable in the country but as we have seen recently with a number of storms, power cuts can happen. When they do, we provide additional help and support to customers, but we need to make sure people know that support is there. 

“We know that local partners can help us engage local people and get more people who are eligible signed up so they can start benefiting from our free support. 

“During storms Isha and Jocelyn we provided more than 2,300 hot meals to people who needed them. We want to continue our active role in our communities, learn from customers and help empower local resilience. 

“Partnerships are a vital part of how we support anyone who lives, learns or earns in the North West in signing up to the support available or being directly part of that support network.” 

The Extra Care Register allows customers to get advanced notice of planned power cuts needed for maintenance, and weather warnings when forecasts are predicted to affect power supplies. If there is an unplanned power cut, those on the register get enhanced communication throughout and even practical help such as torches and hot food and drink in some instances of longer outages. In some cases we can also provide support with medical equipment usage. 

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, are in vulnerable circumstances, or are medically reliant on electricity for example with a stairlift. 

“Thousands of customers have already benefited from the work we do with partners,” added Samantha. 

“We’re always looking to help more people and investing in new partnerships will help us do that so if you think you can help, please get in touch.” 

Electricity North West is inviting applications from charities, organisations and businesses throughout the North West. The groups must support customers living within the Electricity North West network area.  

Deadline for submissions is Friday 15 March 2024. For more information, please visit here.