Human societies have long depended on access to energy, and in a modern society that need is complex and pervasive. The relationship between energy provision and economic success is circular: economic activity demands energy, and when successful can fund more sophisticated and sustainable energy provision. Break that link and communities or individuals may find themselves unable to function.
We believe we must do all we can to ensure that people have access to the energy they need to be comfortable, and more than this, to thrive. It means working to ensure that the energy infrastructure is resilient as possible, or restored as fast as possible when natural disasters strike. It means putting in place support for economic growth and inclusion, helping new businesses get off the ground, and using technology investment to help keep energy affordable for everyone.
Affordable warmth solutions
We understand the challenges caused by increasing energy prices and are concerned about the growth of fuel poverty in the UK. Active since 2009 our community interest company (CIC), Affordable Warmth Solutions CIC is investing millions of pounds to support the installation of new gas connections, gas heating systems and other energy efficiency measures in some of the most deprived areas of our gas distribution network area.
Our infrastructure is embedded in the communities we serve: there’s a direct relationship between the prosperity of those communities, energy security and sustainability.
Over the last decade, we have provided more than $55 million in funding for economic development programmes in the north eastern region of the US served by our infrastructure helping create or retain tens of thousands of jobs.
Our Capital Investment Incentive programme provides funding to offset the cost of electric and gas infrastructure upgrades for commercial and industrial customers. We also administer economic development programmes to foster the redevelopment of vacant commercial buildings, contaminated brownfield sites and underutilised urban centres.
This is a continuing investment. In 2011 we also launched a set of groundbreaking disaster relief programmes to help businesses recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and (most notably) Superstorm Sandy. These emergency economic development programs have provided over $15 million (USD) in relief and have helped nearly 400 businesses rebuild themselves.