Tackling Fuel Poverty Caused By Cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support secured £278,874.20 in Round 7 of the Energy Redress Scheme for their ambitious project.

The ‘Tackling fuel poverty caused by cancer’ project (funded in Round 7 of the scheme) aimed to ensure that vulnerable people with cancer have access to expert advice, support and where possible emergency funds so they can keep warm without the worry of how to pay their fuel bills.

This project exceeded its projected targets and has highlighted the growing need for energy advice services to the number of people in the country living with or affected by cancer, struggling with increased fuel bills.

One of the biggest outgoing costs for people living with cancer is their heating costs as they try to keep warm during their treatment when they are often at home more and see a spike in their fuel bills.

The Macmillan Energy Advice Team specifically focuses on what support is available and trying to help customers keep warm in their homes, whether through emergency prepayment meter vouchers or accessing grant eligibility.

The project has been able to fund the team and allow for additional training from NEA, it has also allowed the Energy Advice Team to meet with water companies and expand their knowledge and advice. As the demand for the service has increased the team has responded innovatively by training additional colleagues across Welfare Rights to deliver energy advice.

Clients who interacted with a dual role advisor were asked to take part in a survey about their experience. Of respondents:

  • 70% weren’t aware that Macmillan could help with energy costs before speaking to an advisor.

100% agreed or strongly agreed that:

  • The advisor took the time to understand them and their situation.
  • It was easy to contact the advisor when they needed them.
  • They understood what the advisor was doing on their behalf.
  • They received support for both benefits and energy advice.
  • They would recommend the support provided to others.
  • Using the service made them feel less worried.
  • Using the service made them feel more informed and able to make better decisions.

Outcomes

Macmillan supported almost 9,000 households over the 12-month project and identified fuel bill savings of over £3.5 million. Macmillan has since been successful in securing further funding through the Energy Redress Scheme to continue this important work.

 

“While we are in the early days of understanding the additional challenges which we face for people living with cancer, we will do whatever it takes to provide support for those who need it through our services including the Energy Advice Team, acting innovatively to the changing needs and demand of those with cancer across the UK. This will mean we can adapt our support to help meet these needs and to work closely with other organisations, such as energy providers, of the support required.”
Sean Conroy –Macmillan Service Manager: Welfare Rights and Energy
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