Spreading the word about smart meters: Devon Communities Together wins Smart Energy GB in Communities grant

Devon Communities Together has received a grant to spread the word about smart meters amongst older people with long term conditions and/or disabilities and sensory impairment living in Devon.


Devon Communities Together is one of just 18 national and regional organisations to receive a large grant from the Smart Energy GB in Communities fund.


Every home in Britain will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier, at no extra cost, by 2020. Smart meters provide gas and electricity readings directly to suppliers, meaning an end to estimated billing. They also show people how much they are using in pounds and pence, via a hand-held in-home display.


This grant fund is a central part of Smart Energy GB’s work to ensure everyone in Great Britain hears about smart meters and knows how to use them to get their gas and electricity under control. It is working with partners across England, Scotland and Wales to reach people who may face barriers to claiming or using their smart meter.


Devon Communities Together has received £23,462 from Smart Energy GB, the national campaign for the smart meter rollout. The funding will be used to deliver a rural roadshow of 8 local Smart Energy events, one in each of 8 target rural communities, aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of smart meters and provision of information about installation and optimum usage.


Devon Communities Together will mobilise an active network of 30 community-based volunteers from the Devon Senior Voice volunteer membership who will have conversations about Smart Meters with people in our rural communities, particularly older people, people with long term conditions and their carers and those with no personal internet access or digital skills.


The fund is managed by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which has 45 years’ experience in designing and delivering strategic grant-making programmes. It is part of the Smart Energy GB in Communities programme, which is being delivered by a consortium of charities - National Energy Action (NEA) and Energy Action Scotland (EAS), Media Trust, and CAF - to help ensure no one is left behind in the smart meter rollout.


Elaine Cook, Chief Executive of Devon Communities Together, said:


 “Smart Meters are our future and while we know little about them we will all one day have one. I am pleased that my team will be leading the way forward with this technology in Devon. Over the next few months we will be working in partnership with organisations and volunteers who will be informing and advising on Smart Meters across the county.”


Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said:


“Smart meters are transforming the way we buy and use energy. Our job at Smart Energy GB is to make sure that everyone in Britain knows what a smart meter is, how to get one, and how to use it to get their gas and electricity under control.


“We know we can’t do this job alone. We rely on expert partners to share information in ways that work for people who may need additional support to understand how to get and use a smart meter. We’re delighted to be working with Devon Communities Together, through Smart Energy GB in Communities, to ensure everyone has the information they need to benefit from this transformative new technology.”