Wales & West Utilities has joined forces with the rest of the UK’s gas distribution networks and Fuel Bank Foundation to provide a pathway to help people living in fuel poverty.
The gas emergency and pipeline service for Wales and south west England has partnered with Cadent, Northern Gas Networks and SGN in committing 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.
Nigel Winnan, Customer & Social Obligations Strategy Manager at Wales & West Utilities, said:
We are pleased to partner with the UK gas networks and Fuel Bank Foundation to help those customers who are the most vulnerable. We know that many households are struggling to pay their bills and this partnership will provide emergency support to those in real need.
We are committed to doing everything we can to support those most in need in our communities and are working with trusted partners to offer free support and advice to help with income and debt advice, energy efficiency and home safety. You can find more information at wwutilities.co.uk/partnerships.
Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.