Gas networks join forces with Fuel Bank Foundation to address fuel poverty
The UK’s gas distribution networks have partnered with Fuel Bank Foundation to provide a pathway to help people living in fuel poverty.
Gas distribution networks Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities have committed to providing the charity with a combined £500,000 fund over two years to support households in a fuel crisis.
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 over 312,000 people who have been referred by local councils and food banks, the Citizens Advice Bureau and charities such as Macmillan and Scope.
Over the past five years, the charity has supported hundreds of thousands of people 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 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: “We’re heading into a tough winter where millions of people are going to be forced to decide between turning on the heating or putting food on the table for their families. This new 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.”
Kerry Potter, group social impact and vulnerability manager at SGN, said: “There are 3.2 million households struggling to pay at least one of their bills and using the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide allowance, 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.”