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New multi-million pound partnership for Fuel Bank Foundation

November 27, 2020

National fuel poverty charity Fuel Bank Foundation (FBF) has agreed in principle to a multi-million pound partnership with National Grid and Affordable Warmth Solutions.

The strategic partnership will enable FBF to expand its operations across GB and to provide a range of new services to support families and individuals at risk of self-disconnection.

The funding agreement will see FBF receive circa £3m over three years. The money will be provided from the Warm Home Fund, a £150m fund set up by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions across England, Scotland and Wales to tackle fuel poverty.

Fuel Bank Foundation provides emergency financial support via a £49* voucher to people unable to top up their prepayment gas or electricity meter. On average, £49 will keep the lights and heating on in a home for up to two weeks.

The voucher is available for customers of all GB energy suppliers and doesn’t need to be repaid.

Since the Fuel Bank scheme was launched in 2015, around 300,000 people have received financial support, with more than £6m of emergency fuel credits awarded. Today, there are more than 140 Fuel Bank centres in operation across GB.

The partnership with FBF is the first time Affordable Warmth Solutions has funded a project that provides immediate financial crisis support for prepayment customers at risk of self-disconnection.

Thanks to the funding from National Grid and AWS we can continue to provide much needed support to some of the most vulnerable people in society who often, through no fault of their own, find themselves in the tragic situation of being unable to meet their basic energy needs. When the money runs out the lights switch off and people are left without energy for the basics like cooking and heating. No one should have to live like this. Working in partnership with other like-minded organisations, charities, advice agencies and local councils our aim is to better identify and support those in fuel poverty.
Matthew Cole, Chair of Trustees - Fuel Bank Foundation

Jeremy Nesbitt, managing director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said: “I’m indebted to the continued support of National Grid, and through our Warm Homes Fund we have already committed investment of around £125m to provide direct support to lift tens of thousands of households out of fuel poverty and as a result helped improve the health and comfort of many now living with more efficient and effective heating systems.

“Working with FBF enables AWS to reach more people in fuel crisis and provide support to help them with sustainable solutions.”

I’m delighted that National Grid are able to support this exciting new initiative to provide financial assistance and advice to some of the most financially disadvantaged households in the country. We understand this will not solve all of the problems associated with fuel debt but it will certainly ease the burden on thousands of households and enable them to keep the heating and lights on during periods of extreme hardship.
Chris Bennett, Director, UK Regulation - National Grid

The partnership will be officially launched in early 2021.

*Fuel vouchers are £49 in winter months and and £30 from 1st April to 31st October.