Scotland’s first ‘fuel bank’ opens in Glasgow

Tony Gosling tony at
Fri Aug 5 12:26:23 BST 2016

first ‘fuel bank’ opens in Glasgow

Energy Action, 
Trust5 August 2016

fuel poverty

A “fuel bank” which offers pre-pay meter vouchers 
to those struggling to afford to light and heat 
their homes has opened in Glasgow.

The initiative, which gives people who are 
suffering from food poverty pre-payment meter 
vouchers for gas or electricity, is available atGlasgow South East Foodbank.

First launched in April 2015 with the Trussell 
Trust, National Energy Action (NEA) and Durham 
Christian Partnership, thenpower Fuel Bank has 
previously been trialled in four areas – Kingston 
on Thames, Durham, Gloucestershire and the Wirral 
– and is now being rolled out to ten other locations in the UK.

npower has committed at least £2.25m to the 
initiative until March 2018 and is opening a 
total of 10 Fuel Banks in new areas in the first half of 2016.

Because the scheme gives people around two weeks’ 
worth of energy, the value of the voucher will 
fluctuate between the winter and summer months: 
from April to end October the value will be £30 
and this will increase to £49 from 1st November to 31st March.

Before making the decision to extend the scheme, 
npower commissioned NEA, the UK fuel poverty 
charity, to undertake an evaluation of the scheme.

A survey of a sample of people who had been 
helped by the Fuel Bank found that many were from 
households with dependent children, while almost 
a third said someone in their home suffered from 
ill health or a condition made worse by the cold. 
The inability to afford adequate power 
interrupted ordinary family life which made 
conditions such as stress and anxiety worse.

Jim Robertson, Scotland development officer for 
Trussell Trust, said: “The partnership between 
npower, the Trussell Trust and Glasgow South East Foodbank is very good news.

“It could help stop the dreadful choice between 
feeding your family and heating your home. That’s 
got to be a step in the right direction for people experiencing a crisis.”

Guy Esnouf, npower’s director of corporate 
responsibility, said: “Our first step was to 
trial the fuel bank in four areas last year. This 
proved the concept works – getting the support to the people who need it most.”

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