Staying warm and healthy

We’re committed to helping our more vulnerable customers stay warm, budget effectively and look after their health.

With fuel poverty still a pressing issue in our region, we exceeded our targets for providing free gas connections to some of our poorest customers in 2015/16 and teamed up with local authorities to secure more than £11 million of Government funding to pay for central heating for those in financial difficulty.

We linked in with the charity Community Action Northumberland to provide ‘warm hubs’ – cosy places where vulnerable people can go to meet and relax – and put measures in place to support the long-term future of this great scheme.

We also concluded our two year partnership with The Children’s Society, which has engaged more than 1,000 vulnerable customers in Bradford around issues such as debt and fuel poverty, and attracted national attention.

You can read more about our responsibility to prevent hardship and risk to health in our Community Promises.

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Outputs – a detailed look

This table takes a detailed look at our performance in 2015/16. Simply click the plus arrow to read a brief commentary on what the statistic means, and how we did.

Output Target 2013/2014 Performance 2014/2015 Performance 2015/2016 Performance Status
Number of fuel poor connections 1,500 1,164 1,707 2,458 Ahead

We exceeded our target for providing gas connections to some of our poorest customers, delivering 2,458 free connections, in line with our revised programme to hit 14,500 connections over RIIO.

Raising awareness of other social issues None

We are working with partner organisations, including registered social landlords and local authorities, to ensure those who benefit from a free gas connection are also supported with effective home improvements such as insulation and central heating. This is proving successful, but we recognise that we currently engage with around 20% of around 170 registered social landlords in our region. We are working to involve more landlords.

We have also worked with our partners such as Community Action Northumberland, to support remote off grid communities; provide energy advice and offer nutrition and basic cookery training in deprived communities.