Alleviating fuel poverty for unpaid carers

Carers Trust 

Supporting 40,000 unpaid carers nationwide to maintain a safe and warm home 

Our project at a glance 

  • Participating GDNs: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales & West Utilities 
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority customer groups  
  • Support target: 146,000 households over two years 
  • Duration: March 2024 to March 2026 
  • Investment: £4,075,771 over two years 
  • Forecast SROI: £42.03 

Why we’re working together 

The cost-of-living crisis has plunged many of the UK’s seven million unpaid carers into financial hardship.  

In August 2022, Carers Trust surveyed unpaid family carers across the UK. The survey found 63% of unpaid carers were worried about being able to afford energy bills, 25% of unpaid carers had to cut back on food and 14% had to use a food bank.

We’ve come together with Britain’s three other gas networks to deliver a national programme to help alleviate the financial pressures facing unpaid carers through energy safeguarding, energy efficiency advice and financial resilience support. We aim to reach 40,000 carers in the most deprived areas of England, Scotland and Wales, and support a further 106,000 people indirectly through their carer family members.

Project objectives 

  • Providing one-to-one energy safeguarding and fuel poverty support for unpaid carers 
  • Providing microgrants to households in energy crisis to provide immediate relief 
  • Promoting the Priority Services Register and helping households to sign up for the free service 
  • Educating households on carbon monoxide (CO) safety and providing free CO alarms where required

How we’re working together 

One-to-one energy safeguarding and fuel poverty support 

We’re working with local independent carers’ services who are members of the Carers Trust Network across 23 locations nationwide. Through these services, we’re supporting carers with income maximisation, fuel poverty advice, energy efficiency guidance and energy safeguarding services, such as locking cooker valves and the PSR.

Financial management and reliance workshops 

We’re running a programme of financial management and resilience workshops aimed at increasing carers’ financial literacy, with particular reference to avoiding and reducing fuel debt, how to access existing support and increasing energy efficiencies in the home. 

How to get involved 

Accessing the Carers Trust service 

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients to Carers Trust if they're an unpaid carer in need of support. You can get in touch with their local support service through the Carers Trust website.

If you’re an unpaid carer and need support to stay safe and warm at home, you can find more information about support in your local area on the Carers Trust website.