It's Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

29 November 2019

Today it’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, and in Bristol, 1 in 10 Bristol households still remain in fuel poverty.

We believe no one’s health should suffer as a result of a cold home and the choice to “heat or eat” shouldn’t be a decision anyone has to make.

Both Bristol Energy and National Energy Action (NEA) are campaigning for Warm Homes, as it is essential for our health and well-being. Rising energy prices, low incomes and poor-quality housing means millions of people across the UK face living in a cold home, leading to significant health problems as well as making people’s lives stressful and miserable, and preventing children from thriving.

NEA's Fuel Poverty Awareness Day shines a light on this UK-wide problem, highlighting the importance of living in a safe and warm home. 

Our Fuel Good Fund

Since launch, Bristol Energy has been working hard to tackle this problem in our city, but there's no easy fix. We’re looking at a number of different approaches to help vulnerable people in this situation such as; providing fairer bills, giving energy efficiency advice, working with local organisations and funding partner initiatives through the Fuel Good Fund.

We set-up the Fuel Good Fund to primarily help households in poverty.

This year, we donated £25k of the fund to the Warmer Homes Advice and Money (WHAM) Project, set up by Centre for Sustainable Energy, Talking Money and We Care and Repair. The organisations looks to help those struggling in fuel poverty in a holistic way. Issues can range from bill debts to a damp home, all of which contribute to a poorer quality of life. We spoke to one of WHAM’s clients who told us about their experience:

Just before Christmas 2017, I lost my job. I’d worked in charities and not for profits for over 20 years, and I was in a bit of a spin about what to do.

By April, despite finding savings in most of our household expenses and cutting out all non-essential expenses, we were really struggling to make ends meet.  On top of this, my youngest son’s asthma had worsened due to his bedroom and the lounge having bare floorboards above an underground cellar.

I was told about the WHAM project by a neighbour and got in touch, within a matter of days, one of their Energy Advisor’s, Ed, carried out a home visit to review and provide advice on our household budget and energy usage.

He spotted that we could make further energy expenditure savings, finding a saving of £267 a year by switching to a fixed rate tariff with far cheaper unit rates for our electricity consumption. 

We had also talked about our need for carpets to help with 6 year old’s health, particularly in his bedroom and the lounge which have bare floorboards over the underground cellar.  In under a month, Ed was back in contact to say that he had completed an application on our behalf to Bristol Charities for our review. Our application was approved, and we received a £500 credit towards a new carpet. I can’t thank them enough.

- Anonymous, Bristol.

The WHAM project have helped so many struggling families and individuals across Bristol. Bristol Energy's donation last year helped them to employ another member of staff, which allowed their outreach programme to extend even further.

Switch to Bristol Energy using the code FUELGOOD, to help end fuel poverty in Bristol.