Centrica is looking to invest in concepts and innovations to tackle climate change and lower energy bills with the launch of a new social impact grant scheme.
On 20 April, it unveiled Energy for Tomorrow (EfT), created to support and empower entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented groups. It explained that at a time of global climate, environmental and health crisis, it is “now more than ever” when communities need to be supported with innovative products and services. It said that it hopes through partnering with and investing in new ideas developed by non-mainstream thinkers, EfT will empower society to change the way they think about and use energy.
The scheme’s inaugural theme is “Innovations that help make people’s lives easier and more sustainable” with Centrica planning to partner with six to ten organisations that have innovative ideas that help to deliver affordable, accessible and reliable clean energy. Successful applicants will receive a grant of between £100,000 and £500,000, provided over a period of up to three years. Smaller organisations, with turnover of less than £1mn, and projects focused on the UK will be given priority.
Applications are welcomed from charities, CICs and both not-for profit and for-profit companies and enterprises that have a clear social mission.
Centrica added that these include organisations that are innovators, creating new solutions to reduce carbon emissions and changing the way society uses energy; helping people to engage with their individual energy use, understand how their behaviours can impact the environment and demonstrate how things can be done differently; and supporting communities, especially hard to reach groups, to collaborate and use energy in a more sustainable way, delivering real benefits to their local area.