Media release: Dedicated chair retires from ScottishPower Energy People Trust

THE ScottishPower Energy People Trust is saying a fond farewell to long-standing chair, Hammy Smillie, and welcoming incoming chair, Norman Kerr.

Hammy has been chair of the Trust, which funds not-for-profit groups that help people whose lives are affected by fuel poverty, since its inception in November 2005.

In the five years as chair, he has overseen funding in excess of £8m provided to programmes run by grassroots organisations that help people struggling to pay their energy bills due to low incomes, poor housing or ill-health.

It has assisted 160 projects across Britain which has helped around 1.5million people.

Hammy Smillie, retiring chair from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, said:

“In my working life as business and community relations director with ScottishPower, I acquired a deep interest and involvement in the setting up and operation of trusts to help utility customers who have real debt problems.

“I was delighted to be asked to chair the ScottishPower Energy People Trust back in 2005 and feel I have had an effective and worthwhile tenure.

“Decisions to award funding are made independently of ScottishPower by our experienced board of trustees who have a special interest in fuel poverty.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them all and would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication over the years.

“I have visited many projects which we have assisted and they are undertaking exceptional work in their local communities. The thing that is especially important to me is the positive impact these projects have on people who are in very difficult situations.”

Current trustee, Norman Kerr, will be taking over as chair of the Trust and is looking forward to his new role.

He has a passion for tackling fuel poverty, having worked in this field for a number of years as director at Energy Action Scotland.

Norman said: “I have drive and enthusiasm for programmes that work to solve fuel poverty at many different levels and jumped at the chance when I was asked to be involved in the work of the Trust.

“It’s very fulfilling to be part of something that was designed to give support to some of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

“Hammy Smillie is a hard act to follow and I think the Trust under his chairmanship has been on the right course. I’d like to keep steering it along that path, supporting groups who work with families and children.

“Decisions over which projects to fund are not taken lightly the trustees are exceptional people and I’m sure we will continue to make the right decisions and support projects that in many cases are life changing for the people they work with.”

The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is an independent charity funded by ScottishPower and through voluntary donations from individual supporters.

For further information on the Trust, please visit:


For more information contact:

Susanne Grant, the BIG Partnership, on 0141 333 9585 / 07824 388 472


Kay McCarthy, the BIG partnership, on 0141 333 9585 / 07736 774 338

Notes for editors:

  • The ScottishPower Energy People Trust was established in November 2005 to fund not-for-profit organisations that help vulnerable people including families, young people, the disabled and the elderly who need to spend more than ten per cent of their income on energy bills.
  • To date, the ScottishPower Energy People Trust has awarded over £8.2m to 160 projects helping 1,490,571 people in 1,251,939 households across Britain.
  • The ScottishPower Energy People Trust does not provide funding directly to individuals but provides funding to not for profit organisations which represent the vulnerable/fuel poor. People described as living in fuel poverty are those who spend more than ten per cent of their income on energy bills.
  • There is no time limit in organisations applying for funds as the Trust is a long-term registered charity. The decisions on the awards to organisations are made independent of ScottishPower by the Board of Trustees of the charity.
  • To apply for a grant from The ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log onto or email or call 0141 568 3492
  • The ScottishPower Energy People Trust is just one of a number of ScottishPower initiatives which assist some of the UK’s most vulnerable people. As well as working closely with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, ScottishPower employs Community Liaison Officers who visit people in their homes. The energy supplier has also insulated thousands of homes across the UK through its Energy Efficiency Commitment.
  • In Ofgem’s Review of Suppliers’ Voluntary Initiatives to Help Vulnerable Customers (August 2007), the Trust was recognised for Best Practice as it integrated energy efficiency advice and the provision of EEC measures to help customers manage and reduce future energy expenditure.

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Contact: Susanne Grant
Phone: 0141 3339585