Our vision is to end fuel poverty. We work across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone can afford to live in a warm, safe and healthy home.
As a result of the energy crisis, 6.3 million UK households are in fuel poverty. This means they spend at least 10% of their income on keeping their homes warm. Energy bills are twice as high as they were two years ago. Combined with poor housing and low incomes, this means that more people than ever before are struggling to afford the cost of heating and falling into debt.
Sky-high bills and cold, damp homes threaten to become the new normal for millions of people. We believe that this must not be allowed to happen. With your donations, we work to end fuel poverty and advocate for policy changes that will transform lives.
“We can live, but it’s just existing. The bills seem insurmountable.”
We work to overcome the effects and causes of fuel poverty in four ways. We provide advice and support; we campaign and advocate for the needs of fuel-poor households; we carry out research to raise awareness and find solutions; and we provide accredited training.
Advice and support
We provide advice and support to people struggling to heat their homes affordably, either directly or via community engagement projects and outreach.
Campaigning and advocacy
We campaign and advocate to ensure that the needs of fuel-poor households are at the heart of policy decisions.
We undertake research and share insights to raise awareness of fuel poverty and find solutions
We develop accredited training and qualifications to improve standards in energy advice
We can’t fight fuel poverty alone. Our work is delivered in partnership with policy makers, manufacturers, installers, energy suppliers and networks, local authorities, housing associations and universities, as well as many others with an interest in understanding the causes and effects, and supporting the people affected.
When households struggle to pay their energy bills for long periods it can lead to increasing and unsustainable levels of debt. The resulting vicious cycle of high bills and increased outgoings is difficult to escape. Households in fuel poverty often resort to unsafe energy rationing, trying to use as little energy as possible, which can be risky for their health and the condition of their home. Some people with prepayment meters even voluntarily disconnect from their mains energy supply in a bid to spend less.
Cold homes can cause or worsen a range of serious health conditions including heart attacks, strokes, bronchitis, and asthma. Each year, around 10,000 people die as a result of living in a cold home. Fuel poverty can also have a significant impact on mental health and is a known risk factor for suicide.
Fuel poverty is not inevitable. The systems that create the problem can be reshaped to fix it, so that everyone can live in a warm home. Since 2014 England has had a legally binding fuel poverty target, which states that the energy efficiency of energy-poor homes must be improved by set dates. As many fuel-poor households as reasonably practicable should achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of band C by 2030, with interim targets of band E by 2020, and band D by 2025.
Financial support to improve heating and insulation would result in smaller energy bills and reduced carbon emissions. Vulnerable people can be supported to navigate the complexities of the energy market, and additional protections can be put in place to make sure they aren’t unfairly disadvantaged by policies and practices. And welfare systems can be redesigned to release more people from the grip of poverty.