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Fuel Bank® - 1,000 fuel vouchers issued to help households across Coventry

A scheme which provides people with funds to pay for energy, alongside emergency food, has issued over 1,000 fuel vouchers to households in Coventry, helping over 2,500 people*, of which 1,000 were children.

Launched in May 2017 and based in eight foodbank centres around the city, the npower Fuel Bank® aims to remove the stark choice between heating or eating. The scheme works by giving foodbank users with pre-payment meters vouchers for gas or electricity - whether or not they are npower customers. This enables 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 around two weeks.

The scheme is a partnership between npower and The Trussell Trust and now runs in 14 areas and 65 foodbank centres. To date it has helped nearly 88,000 people* across the UK, providing more than £1.5 million worth of emergency gas or electricity. It is hoped that with the recent launch of the npower Foundation, which will be an independent charity, Fuel Bank will be able to help even more people in fuel crisis.

Hugh McNeil, manager of the Coventry Foodbank, said  “The npower Fuel Bank scheme has been an amazing project allowing us to help many vulnerable people with a gas and electric top up. The scheme has been a lifeline for so many people struggling to make ends meet because of the current financial squeeze.

 James, a client of the Coventry Foodbank in the Willenhall, area added “I recently went to a foodbank and they helped me get a voucher for gas and electricity. It has meant that I can have heating on for a few hours each day.  Before, I had to decide if I could have the heating on or not. I’m grateful for the support they’ve given me.”

Commenting on the figures so far this winter, Matthew Cole, npower’s Head of Social Energy and Trustee of the npower Foundation, said: “ It is clear that the npower Fuel Bank is offering a much-needed lifeline, providing warmth and hot water, as well as electricity and gas to make a cup of tea or to warm up some soup. Through our new npower Foundation – the npower Fuel Bank charity – we hope to raise more funds so that fewer people have to make the choice between heating or eating.”

*This is a measure of people helped by the Fuel Bank, but it is not a measure of unique individuals as some people were helped more than once.

**Fuel vouchers are £30 in the summer months and £49 from 1st November to 31st March.