Budget Energy NI, a leading electricity supplier in Northern Ireland, have launched a ‘Covid-19 Response Fund’. This is a £50,000 fund aimed at supporting their customers during the current Coronavirus pandemic.
The establishment of the fund is in response to the challenges faced by many families across Northern Ireland as they struggle to stay safe and stay well during these unprecedented times. The fund, which is now open for applications, will support individuals and families by providing a ‘one off’ £50 credit to customer accounts or ‘top-up’ code for Keypad meters.
With restrictions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 everyone is spending more time at home. So, at a time of year when our energy use tends to decrease our energy usage and costs will actually increase. Increasing energy costs will be another concern for families at a time when they already face many challenges coping with the risk of Covid-19.
Anne McEvoy, Managing Director of Budget Energy explained why the company felt it was important to introduce this fund for their domestic customers:
‘Budget Energy is a local, family owned business – because of this we feel a great connection with our customers and local communities.
‘We are hearing from our customers many of whom are facing financial difficulty as a result of the current crisis. Some customers have a reduced income because they have lost their job and are still waiting on financial support. Others find themselves in prolonged isolation due to underlying health conditions and are worried about how this will affect their energy bills.
Budget Energy want to help and make these times more bearable for our customers, our communities and where we call home, Northern Ireland.
The aim of the Budget Energy Covid-19 Response Fund is to take away some of the anxiety many customers will face when it comes to paying for their electricity. The £50 payment will support customers focus on staying home and staying safe rather than worrying about their next electricity top up or energy payment.
Tara Collins, a Budget Energy customer who has benefitted from the fund, explains how it will help her during these times.
I was working part time in a local hotel in what I though was secure employment, but it closed overnight due to the pandemic. With two young children at home my biggest spend is on food, electricity and gas – and I’m still waiting on Government support. This fund is a massive help and takes away some of the stress. It will help tide me over in terms of my bills until I access additional support or get back to work’.
The fund will launch at 12:00pm on Thursday 16th April. In order to apply for the fund customers are asked to complete an online application form which can be accessed via www.budgetenergy.co.uk. Applications will be assessed on a first-come basis and will be rapidly processed to ensure that funding reaches customers as quickly as possible. When the funding has been allocated the scheme will be closed to new applicants.