Energy scheme is a powerful success

Fuel Bank is providing help to those most in need.
Fuel Bank is providing help to those most in need.

A Govanhill-based scheme designed to remove the stark choice between heating and eating has now helped over 1,100 people in Glasgow.

The npower Glasgow South East Fuel Bank scheme gives foodbank users with pre-payment meters vouchers for gas or electricity.

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.

In the winter months, the value of the voucher is £49 and households can receive help regardless of whether or not they are npower customers.

The scheme launched in Glasgow in July last year and has already issued around 660 vouchers, helping nearly 800 adults and over 300 children.

When given her £49 voucher, a fuel voucher recipient speaking at the Glasgow South East foodbank said: “I can’t believe how much the fuel voucher was worth. I thought it would be about £10, but having so much more than expected means that me and my daughter can have hot food and a warm home during the colder weeks.”

Audrey Flannagan, Manager of the Glasgow South East foodbank said: “The vouchers make a major difference to the lives of our service users, it literally is the difference between cold or hot food, whether they will be cold or warm at night and whether they have a cold wash down or can have a hot bath.”

The scheme is a partnership between npower, National Energy Action and The Trussell Trust, and now runs in 14 areas and 59 foodbank centres across the country.

Matthew Cole, head of policy and social energy at npower, said: “The fuel vouchers mean that people can go home and have a hot meal, a hot shower, as well as heat their homes.”