Energy networks join forces with Fuel Bank Foundation to address fuel poverty
Energy network companies from across Britain have partnered with Fuel Bank Foundation to provide further support to people living in fuel poverty.
Distribution Network Operator (DNO) Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks are joining forces with Gas Distribution Networks Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities, who have already committed to providing the charity with a combined £550,000 fund over two years to support households in a fuel crisis.
The additional support from the DNO means the fund will be raised by a further £50,000 and can be extended to provide more households in energy crisis with much needed support this year.
The money will be used to provide same or next day emergency financial support to people struggling to top up their prepayment gas and/or electricity meters. Fuel Bank Foundation will also provide additional ongoing support to help manage energy costs, working together to support families out of crisis and find better energy deals.
Fuel Bank Foundation has already provided support to more than 312,000 people who have been referred by local councils and food banks, Citizens Advice and charities such as Macmillan and Scope.
Over the past five years, the charity has supported households across the country by providing emergency fuel vouchers when their prepayment gas and electricity meters have run out of credit. This new funding will enable Fuel Bank Foundation to support a minimum of an additional 8,000 homes out of fuel crisis, greatly increasing their capacity to provide urgent assistance to those in need.
Matthew Cole, from Fuel Bank Foundation, said: “The forthcoming changes to the energy price cap will see millions of people forced to choose between turning on the heating or putting food on the table for their families. This enhanced partnership with the UK’s energy networks means we can continue our vital work and support thousands more people with same day financial support as well as working with those in need to address the wider issues they are struggling with.”
Lyndsey Stainton, head of stakeholder engagement for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, added: “SSEN is committed to supporting customers in vulnerable situations both directly and through a network of trusted partners. With the need for this support having increased significantly as the impact of the rising cost is living is felt, we’re delighted to be working with the Fuel Bank Foundation to support such an important cause which will make a difference to communities across the country.”
Kerry Potter, group social impact and vulnerability manager at SGN, added: “There are 3.2 million households struggling to pay at least one of their bills and working together in partnership electricity and gas distribution networks can make a real positive impact, making sure people have safe and warm homes during what is set to be a very challenging winter. We’re working hard to address fuel poverty today and tomorrow and we’re delighted to be partnering with the Fuel Bank Foundation to offer a pathway to help to thousands of people.”