The 2014 Rexel Foundation Prize, presented as part of the Solar Energy UK Awards, went to Energise Sussex Coast, an organization devoted to fighting fuel poverty.
This news is related to the project :
18 November 2014
For the second year in a row, Solar Power Portal, a website dedicated to the photovoltaic (PV) industry in the UK, hosted a ceremony at the Solar Energy UK exhibition to honor the most outstanding initiatives in the field.
One of the 12 prizes was the Rexel Foundation Prize for a "socially innovative community project benefitingt those most in need in terms of energy and cost savings". The social entreprise Energise Sussex Coast was named the winner for its project of a popup system to distribute 600 "energy packs" in the severely impoverished communities of Sussex and Kent.
Once again, it was an occasion to recognize the professionalism, quality and innovative capacity of the finest organizations in the sector, with prizes including “Most successful integrated renewables system” and “Project finance innovation.” One of the 12 prizes was the Rexel Foundation Prize for a “socially innovative community project benefiting those most in need in terms of energy and cost savings.”
In July 2014, Rexel UK launched a call for nominations of outstanding projects in optimized energy management, the fight against fuel poverty and the development of renewable energies. Three organizations were short-listed for the prize:
- The Northumberland Aged Miners Homes Association, for its project to install biomass boilers (which are more eco-friendly and less costly) in the homes of a dozen families of former coal miners who are facing fuel poverty due to age, infirmity or economic circumstances;
- The social enterprise Energise London CIC, for its “Energise Barnet” project to install photovoltaic panels on the roofs of schools and create a fund to help local residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills;
- The social enterprise Energise Sussex Coast, for its project of a popup system to distribute 600 “energy packs” in the severely impoverished communities of Sussex and Kent. “Energy Pop-up shops” set up in shopping centers are used to distribute packs containing eco-efficient products like LED light bulbs, draft-proofing kits and meters for monitoring energy consumption.
On October 14th, Energise Sussex Coast was named the winner by Rexel UK and the Rexel Foundation, in particular for its pragmatic, concrete and long-term approach. The equipment contained in its energy packs will be installed in the beneficiaries’ homes to ensure its optimal use, and a follow-up service will measure the actual reductions in energy consumption to demonstrate the immediate benefits of these low-cost solutions.
Accepting the award, Richard Watson of Energise Sussex Coast explained how the £15,000 prize will provide a boost for an already ambitious operation: “Solving the poor state of our housing will take time, but we can do something for our more vulnerable residents immediately, especially with winter on its way. This is why the Rexel prize is so well timed and fits perfectly with other schemes we are doing. Anyone who receives an energy pack will join our energy-saving community and be offered ongoing support and help with their bills and fuel debt advice from our range of partners, and be signposted to other schemes. The Rexel Prize will really boost our current plan to help our region reduce its energy footprint as well as the fuel bills of vulnerable residents.”