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Initially, Fuel Bank was developed by the energy supplier npower, but in 2017 became a fully-fledged charity, the Fuel Bank Foundation. And as an independent charity, it is able to support more clients and work with a wider range of partners from across the country.
The scheme helps prevent self-disconnection (where a client cannot afford to top up their meter and so when the money runs out the lights switch off) and ensures people are not left without energy for the basics like cooking and heating.
With a vision to do things differently, and to not spend unnecessarily by establishing costly operational teams and offices, the Fuel Bank Foundation sought out partners who would provide a number of services that it would integrate into a single proposition to support some of the most vulnerable in society.
The Foundation had high expectations: where support was needed for vulnerable households it must be provided within minutes not days, and a number of robust processes must sit behind the scenes to provide both validation of the process, and to also demonstrate the integrity of the Fuel Bank model.
Charis have been instrumental in supporting us co-create this innovative digital scheme. It was a completely unique approach that required new thinking and new capabilities. Charis rose to the challenge and we’re very proud of the solution we created and the amount of people we support with the new model we formed.
With customer debt spiralling out of control, we supported npower in finding a sustainable way to support its customers.
We undertook the management of this fund to provide people in hardship a chance for future financial sustainability.