Low-income households to receive low-emissions hand up
Lifestyle / Mon 19th Jun 2023 at 08:13am
LOW income households are set to receive help to join the low-carbon revolution thanks to the newly funded SHIELD project.
UK Power Networks’ Smart Heat and Intelligent Energy in Low-Income Districts (SHIELD) project aims to change the current approach to decarbonising heat and energy in consumers’ homes. This is aimed at making it more inclusive, ensuring no one gets left behind in the journey to Net Zero.
SHIELD is being delivered through a project partnership led by UK Power Networks. It also involves Essex County Council, Power Circle, Citizen’s Advice Essex, Eastlight Community Homes, UK Community Works, Kensa Contracting and Thermify.
Ofgem and Innovate UK are supporting SHIELD. The project will oversee new approaches and business models for installing energy efficient technologies. These include solar panels, wind generation storage, and electric vehicles.
Combined with low energy heat solutions, these can make the decarbonisation of heat and energy more affordable.
The current approach to decarbonising heat and energy in consumers’ homes is costly and not inclusive of vulnerable and low-income households.
The project aims to design, develop, and test new cross-industry and community business models and mechanisms. These will integrate innovative technologies to find a viable pathway for vulnerable customers to affordably decarbonise their heating and energy.
This is the discovery element of a potential multi-phase project. For this, Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) will provide £82,163 of funding.
The SIF supports a fair energy transition, including finding new ways to identify and support vulnerable customers, helping those who are disadvantaged, fuel poor or off the gas grid to reduce carbon emissions.
Future phases could see the SHIELD project receive several million pounds in funding.
Jon Cape, Managing Director of Power Circle Projects Ltd, said: “Power Circle is delighted to be working with partners to deliver the ground-breaking SHIELD project.
“It has real potential to cut energy costs for low-income households whilst delivering low carbon.”
Thermify CEO Travis Theune said: “Thermify is excited to be taking part in the SHIELD project.
“Providing low-cost heating to vulnerable people and helping to reduce fuel poverty is central to our goals and we look forward to finding innovative ways to combine technologies with project partners.”
SHIELD supports Essex County Council’s net zero targets, which include the transition to sustainable energy.
Essex County Council Climate Czar, Councillor Peter Schwier said: “The SHIELD project is a brilliant example of how Essex County Council is constantly searching for and developing innovative ways to solve both climate and economic related problems.
“It is important that methods to reduce carbon emissions are made available to all to enable a smooth and just energy transition.”
The discovery phase of this project is due to run to June 2023.
SHIELD partners are already developing a bid for further funding under the Strategic Innovation Fund Alpha Phase. This would provide funding for limited in-situ technology trials.
Just what we need. Clean smoke and mirrors.