Please Rotate Your Device

Partnership Helps Support Almost 150,000 People in Fuel Crisis

May 20, 2024

Partnership Helps Support Almost 150,000 People in Fuel Crisis Featured Image

A partnership between Fuel Bank Foundation, National Grid and Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) has, to date, helped provide support to 142,741 people living in fuel crisis across England, Scotland and Wales.

Thanks to the partnership, at the end of this summer Fuel Bank will have received £4million in funding enabling the charity to expand its network of fuel bank centres and provide a range of new services to support low income and vulnerable households that can’t afford to top up their prepayment energy meter.

It’s the first time AWS has funded a project that provides immediate financial crisis support for prepayment customers at risk of having to live without heat, light and power.

The partnership with National Grid and AWS started in 2021, with a commitment to provide Fuel Bank with £3million over three years. Due its success, in 2022 AWS agreed to increase the funding to £4million.

The money is provided from the Warm Homes Fund, a £150m fund set up by National Grid and administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions, to tackle fuel poverty across England, Scotland and Wales.

So far, funding from the partnership helped to support 142,741 people from living without heat, light and power.

Matthew Cole, head of Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“At a time when we are seeing record numbers of people being referred to us for crisis support, with more than 330,000 people helped by Fuel Bank Foundation last winter – the highest we have ever seen – the funding from the Warm Homes Fund has been crucial to our operations.
“It has enabled us to provide a range of new services to support households in fuel crisis, both in the short and long-term, through the provision of same-day emergency fuel vouchers to get the lights, heat and power back on and practicable help and advice to prevent households falling into fuel crisis in the future.
“The harsh reality is that without the funding from the Warm Homes Fund more people would have gone cold and hungry in England, Scotland and Wales, which is why we are extremely grateful for its support over the last three years.”

Last winter, at its peak, Fuel Bank Foundation helped more than 21,000 people in a single week and spent nearly £1 million a week on fuel vouchers to keep homes warm. To date, in total the charity has helped over 1.5 million people, one third of which have been in the last 12 months.

Jeremy Nesbitt, managing director of Affordable Warmth Solutions, said:

“We are grateful to National Grid for the funding they’ve provided us that has enabled AWS to establish the Warm Homes Fund. This has enabled us to launch groundbreaking schemes such as our partnership with the Fuel Bank Foundation. We are all too aware of the challenges many households face as a result of the energy crisis and this support to the Fuel Bank Foundation will help us better understand the challenges and enable us to help solve some of the issues.”