Being able to heat and power your home is an essential part of life in the UK and Northeast US, where winters can range from cold to below freezing. But with the current cost of living crisis, more and more people are finding it difficult to meet their energy bills – especially as the winter months draw in.
As well as working to bring more affordable and clean energy to everyone, we want to help tackle fuel poverty right now. So we’ve partnered with a number of charitable organisations in both the UK and the US, who offer financial support and much more.
Just some of the actions undertaken by the organisations we’ve partnered with include:
In winter 2022 we launched a £65 million energy support fund to help alleviate financial distress caused by rising energy costs in the UK and US. The fund, which was set up to run over two winters, is making significant donations to organisations working on the front line of the energy crisis.
This video shows how some of these non-profit organisations are making a difference to fuel poverty in our communities.
To date, our US partnerships have helped 5,000 households and 1,800 small businesses in Massachusetts, and are expected to benefit more than 31,500 households in New York (almost 100,000 people).
The non-profit organisations we’re working with in the Northeast US include:
The United Way works to improve communities and break the cycle of poverty, investing in programmes and initiatives with a proven track record of results, and provides energy assistance to help those who struggle to pay their bills. Our partnerships include The United Way of Central Massachusetts, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Cape and Islands United Way
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund has provided energy assistance to hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills and don’t qualify for federal or state energy funds.
Through their Hope & Warmth Energy Fund, Care & Share (Upstate NY) and Neighborhood Heating Fund (New York City), HeartShare Human Services of New York works to provide emergency financial assistance to vulnerable customers who are having difficulty paying their heating energy bills. Since its founding in 1914, HeartShare has been providing care and assistance to over 100 programme sites in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and 60 New York State counties.
This video shows more about HeartShare's activities in New York:
So far our UK partnerships have benefitted over 41,000 households and helped more than 415,000 people. The non-profit organisations we’re working with in the UK include:
The National Energy Foundation offers advice and guidance on lowering energy bills and delivers practical solutions to make homes warmer. They implement projects to help residents feel warmer, healthier and more comfortable in their homes, while also helping them cut the costs of their bills.
Having a prepayment meter but not the money to top it up means living without heat and light. The Fuel Bank Foundation provides emergency financial support and advice to UK households that are in fuel crisis.
Citizens Advice offers information and guidance across a range of issues, including how to get help with your energy bills.
12 National Grid colleagues have taken a one-year secondment with Citizens Advice to assist their local community. This video shows the experiences of two colleagues – Tahlia and Gerard – and the vital work they’re supporting:
One of the most effective solutions available to sustainably reduce energy costs, both for this winter and in the future, is to make homes more energy efficient. Affordable Warmth Solutions provides new, free home insulation and other energy efficiency measures to low-income households who don’t qualify for government programmes.
National Energy Action directly supports people with energy and income advice, as well as advocating on issues that include improving the energy efficiency of homes. They undertake research, share insights and develop accredited training and qualifications to improve standards of energy advice.
In addition to the above recipients of our energy support fund, over 1 million people have already benefitted from our own support fund ‘Community Matters’, which supports a range of local grassroots organisations to provide help to those in need across the Midlands, South West and South Wales – the regions served by our electricity distribution network.
Community Matters has distributed over £5 million to good causes since its launch in 2021. £3 million of this has been awarded to projects tackling fuel poverty, with another £5 million being distributed in winter 2023.
Other phases of the fund have helped to combat loneliness and social isolation and to address the issue of holiday hunger for families during the summer holidays, particularly those relying on free school meals in term time.