Portsmouth City Council's in-house Energy Services team has received national recognition for its work mitigating fuel poverty and the provision of affordable energy for vulnerable residents.
The team also received a special commendation for the National Council of the Year award, having won the award for the South East region earlier in the year.
The National Social Responsibility Company of the Year award is presented to one UK organisation which is addressing the requirements of is community, whilst having a positive impact on society and the environment.
Fuel poverty affects 12.1% of all households in Portsmouth, specifically those who cannot afford to keep adequately warm at a reasonable cost. As a result, residents may be living in cold homes, which can affect physical and mental health, childhood attainment and lead to damp and mould issues in properties.
Since 2017, Portsmouth residents have been benefiting from award-winning fuel poverty mitigation initiatives run by the council's Energy Services team. These include the Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP), Warmer Homes and the Emergency Boiler Replacement Scheme.
LEAP offers home-visits and energy advice to residents, whilst providing the most vulnerable with free energy efficiency measures such as LED light bulbs and TV standby plugs.
The Warmer Homes scheme offers eligible households a fully funded gas central heating system, and gas connection if required. The total value of the gas connection and the central heating system typically equates to £6,000.
These initiatives have saved vulnerable residents £937,373 to date. More than 1,000 homes have benefited from the provision of expert energy efficiency advice, while 1,500 fully-funded central heating systems have been made available for residents the Portsmouth area.
The team have also been recognised for industry-leading work around renewable energy generation.
Councillor Darren Sanders, the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing said: "We are thrilled that our expert in-house Energy Services team has again been recognised as the leading organisation in the United Kingdom when it comes to social responsibility.
It is great for the city that it has a service that is unmatched in the UK when it comes to their energy efficiency needs, offering brilliant energy and money saving initiatives".
During the award presentation, judges referred to the winning organisation as having an "outstanding application" whilst acknowledging that they "work with multiple funding streams and partners to provide an excellent scheme".
Portsmouth City Council will launch a brand new website, Switched On Portsmouth, this month which will provide residents with even more energy efficiency advice and better access to initiatives that will save them energy and money.