Energy supplier npower has worked with us to launch the nation’s first Fuel Bank.
In partnership with National Energy Action and Durham Christian Partnership, this trial supports households most in need of help by giving them funds to pay for gas and electricity alongside emergency food aid.
Placed in existing foodbanks, npower’s Fuel Banks will help households using pre-payment meters, whether they are npower customers or use another energy supplier. People can visit a participating foodbank and receive a £49 credit which they can use to top up their gas and electricity meter. This will enable households that have run out of energy to get the power back on within a few hours and keep the lights and heating on for up to two weeks.
“Through our longstanding Health through Warmth programme and our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, npower has worked hard to help our most vulnerable customers. However, we are keen to do more and this new trial with food banks could be an important breakthrough. It will provide immediate and hassle free support to households where often the choice is between food or warmth.”
– Matthew Cole, npower’s Head of Policy & Obligations
The npower Fuel Banks have been launched specifically to address the problem of households who ‘self-disconnect’ in order to save money. Research conducted by Citizens Advice found that one in every six homes that use a prepayment meter has self disconnected, meaning up to 1.62 million people go without electricity or gas each year.
If successful, npower will extend the initiative nationwide.