Big Six Energy Supplier Giving Back
In the wake of so much bad press for the energy industry recently, it’s always great to see one of the oft-hated Big Six energy suppliers actively making a positive impact on people’s lives, something we're really passionate about here at Love Energy Savings. SSE has announced that in the last financial year, it has invested over £4.5m in community projects, the majority of which were in Scotland.
According to the firm, 366 not-for-profit organisations received support from community investment funds generated through its hydro and onshore wind installations.
The Biggar Museum Trust was the recipient of the largest single award, receiving £650,000 from the energy suppliers Clyde wind farm fund. The money was put toward a new visitor centre.
The energy supplier also made a £400,000 grant to Highland schools to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) studies. A £75,000 grant was also made to the community to enable them to buy-out the Aberfeldy town hall in Perthshire.
Training Workers of Tomorrow
Grants worth over £1m were given to skills and employment projects. Three apprenticeship schemes in the Great Glen, Cairngorms National Park and Sutherland received more than £110,000 each, there was also a £267,000 award to an employment programme in South Lanarkshire.
Some money for the funds was generated through wind farms at Keadby and Tilbury, England, raising over £100,000. This raises the question however, if Scotland were to vote for independence, would SSE still use money raised in England to fund Scottish projects?
Communities Tripled the Suppliers Investment
For every £1 the energy supplier granted, recipients and local communities raised £2, bringing the total amount of funding generated to £13.5m - a massive impact from the 366 projects involved.
SSE are more concerned about the manner in which money is generated, rather than the amount itself. Alistair Phillips-Davies, the energy firms chief executive said: “£4.5m will deliver a positive impact, but it’s not simply about the value of our funding – how we do it matters too.”
He continued: “By working with communities in genuine partnership, I believe we can support local decision-makers to ensure these funds can go even further and deliver sustainable benefits to the community year and year.”
Hopefully the company and the rest of the big six will continue to invest in local communities for many years to come, as there is truth behind Mr. Phillips-Davies’ comments, but considering the energy giants net income was £489.3m in 2013 it seems there’s room for building bigger bridges with communities in their budget.