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For RIIO-GD2, Ofgem have introduced a Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance. This £60 million fund will be split between all four gas distribution networks between 2021 and 2026, to do much more than keep customers safe and warm.

Our customer base of 2.7 million homes and businesses means we will receive £1 million each year to spend on innovations and initiatives tackling vulnerability and carbon monoxide awareness in our region, with 25% ringfenced for collaborative projects.

We’ll be working with a host of partners, charities and organisations to help us do this, and fully understand the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances, in order to ensure they are supported in using energy in a safe and efficient way.


Projects must meet strict eligibility criteria in order to qualify, focus on vulnerability and CO safety that go beyond activities currently funded through our regulatory price control mechanisms, or our licence obligations.

All will be tailored to the specific needs of our communities and align with our Vulnerability Strategy, which we created with the support and insight of stakeholders and third sector organisations, to ensure the most effective delivery.

If you have a project that you think we could support, either by ourselves or collaboratively with the other gas networks, please click the button below.

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  • GDN Collaborative VCMA PEA MyBnk Schools Programme

    During 2021 it was estimated that three million English households were living in fuel poverty (Dept for Business, Energy and Business Strategy). It is clear that many young people do not have the essential information, resources or support networks in place to avoid poverty, including fuel poverty. The significant cost of living increases has already started to make an impact on families. Highlighting the importance of small changes to young people means that they will continue through their lives with good energy habits – checking gas cookers are off, switching off lights when not in a room, keeping doors closed to keep the heat in. Simple measures that young children adopt and continue in their lives. Through partnership we can leverage this expertise to deliver material to primary age young people as part of their financial education programme from MyBnk. With a dedicated module specifically focused on energy safety, usage and efficiency a long term and successful partnership with tangible outcomes can be achieved. This project will also engage the dangers of CO and flag key support services including the Priority Services Register (PSR). This project covers the geographical area of England, Scotland and Wales.

  • GDN Collaborative Project - Citizens Advice National - Energy Safeguarding and CO Safety Partnership

    Delivered in partnership with Citizens Advice, and co-funded by the four UK Gas Distribution Networks, this project aims to support vulnerable households with a single point of contact for independent and bespoke support to keep a safe and warm home for less. Working through Citizens Advice’s network of local Energy Advice Partnership Hubs, with the potential to access the full Citizens Advice network where required. Through this partnership the Citizens Advice local Energy Advice Programme teams will work to directly support 17,500 vulnerable people with access to practical advice on the dangers of CO and how to mitigate these, as well as energy advice that improves their financial independence, their health and wellbeing, and increases their confidence to manage their household utility costs.

  • GDN Collaborative Project - Fuel Bank Foundation Fuel Crisis Support

    Gas distribution networks Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Wales and West Utilities have committed to providing the charity with a combined £500,000 fund over two years to support households in a fuel crisis. The money will be used to provide same day emergency financial support to people struggling to top-up their prepayment gas and/or electricity meters. Fuel Bank Foundation will also provide additional ongoing support to help manage energy costs, working together to support families out of crisis. Fuel Bank Foundation has already provided support to approaching 500,000 people who have been referred by local councils and food banks, advice agencies and charities such as Macmillan and Scope.

  • GDN Collaborative PEA: The Scouts Carbon Monoxide Awareness Badge (The Scouts Association)

    Carbon Monoxide (CO) can pose a serious threat to human health and even fatality, with around 40 deaths caused by CO poisoning each year in the UK and 4,000 people treated in hospital. Lack of awareness about the dangers of and ways in which to prevent harm from CO are a major contributing factor to why we’re still seeing CO related deaths and harm in a time when safety devices such as CO alarms are cheaper and more accessible than ever. Young people are one of the most at risk and least aware groups. The Scouts has approximately 360,000 young members and 140,000 adult volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales, and this collaborative GDN project aims to educate about the dangers of CO through a programme of activities developed for all Scout age ranges. Working in partnership with the Scouts dedicated programme content curators we will develop a programme of branded educational activities focusing on raising awareness of CO poisoning, and how to manage and reduce the risks. These activities will contribute to a different badge within Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers to ensure high engagement.

  • NGN Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Awareness Project Coordinator

    A dedicated role is required to support the general project coordination, management and administration of Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA) funded projects. The role will support projects covering all types of vulnerabilities and will involve working with partners such as charities, community groups and those working at grass roots level, who deal with hard-to-reach communities, to ensure that projects and budgets are managed from initial concept to completion. The benefits realised by working closely with partners, will include demonstrating good practice in areas such as supporting the delivery of affordable warmth solutions for low income households and customers living in vulnerable situations. Energy efficiency and fuel poverty support, financial support, raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and Priority Services Register (PSR) will all be themes that run through this support role. The role will also include responsibility for reporting in line with the VCMA governance document and associated requirements. There is a requirement for a dedicated, single point of contact to work closely with all project partners and other GDN’s for collaborative VCMA projects. The role covers all of NGN’s geographical area.

  • Identifying and Protecting Pregnant Women from CO Exposure

    Although guidance exists for addressing CO in pregnancy caused by smoking, there is no official protocol for investigating elevated CO amongst pregnant women caused by other means. This problem is compounded by midwives’ own concerns that they and their colleagues are not adequately trained to address non-smoking causes of elevated CO in pregnancy. This project aims to bring together information on expired CO levels in women recruited into the study, with information collected on exposure in their home. Recruitment into the study will trigger a Home Safety Visit with an additional aspect on CO, conducted by the local Fire and Rescue Service, and a two-week period of CO monitoring using a CO alarm, data loggers and CO breathalysers in the participant’s home. Recruitment and testing will take place during autumn and winter when potential exposure is greatest. By monitoring indoor CO levels, the scale of the problem due to elements within the home will be identified. To date, no study to assess environmental exposure of pregnant women to CO has been undertaken in the UK. Projects will take place within one NHS locality in England for each GDN.

  • Vulnerability & Carbon Monoxide Training

    The role is being funded to make Northern Gas Networks (NGN) staff, partners and customers aware of the wide-ranging vulnerabilities that exist within our network. The role will include supporting internal colleagues and training external stakeholders and partners in all areas relating to vulnerability. This includes training internal colleagues and partners on carbon monoxide (CO) and vulnerability awareness, fuel poverty, energy efficiency, Priority Services Register (PSR) and promoting the locking cooker valve service. NGN is currently developing a Customer Vulnerability & Competency Framework (CVCF), the main aim of which, is to train all NGN staff on identifying vulnerability, providing them with the ability taking action to support customers, or refer on to a third party, when required. The role will ensure training is delivered by an internal NGN resource, rather than outsourcing.

  • Hull & East Yorkshire Children’s University Reading Van: Bringing reading to the community

    The project is aimed at tackling rural vulnerability in school children by delivering one-on-one reading sessions to children in care*(CIC) in schools. The sessions will be delivered via an NGN HEY CU reading van coordinators can take to rural schools, with carbon monoxide (CO) safety messages an integral part of the sessions.

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Environmental Impact Awareness in Cumbria Campaign

    Covid 19 and lockdown have shifted visitor patterns to the Lake District National Park and Cumbria. There has been a significant number of new users attending the park who may not be aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and the Countryside Code. This project aims to deliver clear and effective messaging about the risks of CO poisoning when cooking in confined spaces (tents, caravans and campervans), and how to minimise environmental impact on the region when visiting.

  • Highfield Co-op - Community Energy Cafe

    The town of Keighley near Bradford has high levels of long-term unemployment, and high numbers of residents living in fuel poverty. Highfield Co-op aims to create a pop-up energy café, where members of the community can attend and which will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of fuel poverty, provide energy advice and raise awareness of CO to vulnerable people.

  • Energy Confident

    Access to many individual case work services are becoming increasingly difficult and this has been compounded by the pandemic. Especially for those living with physical disadvantage, who may also be shielding. The project objectives are to increase confidence, self-esteem and resilience which in turn, will lead to increased physical and mental health and wellbeing. Overall, the aim is to empower people to prepare for emergency situations that could help to save lives. An integral part of the programme will be to incorporate PSR awareness raising and sign-up. DIAL will be working closely with Trussell Trust foodbanks across Leeds. They will also be involving Green Doctors, Care and Repair (Home Improvement Agency), Fire and Rescue, Adult Social Care, Health and Housing and Leeds Public Health.

  • Energy MOT

    This project aims to promote the concept that use of energy in the home should be viewed just like the use of a car – it needs a comprehensive check every year, to make sure everything is working efficiently and safely. Stockton and District Advice and Information Service will be working with Northallerton Citizens Advice on the project, an integral part of which will be to incorporate CO safety messages and make PSR referrals. This project will support NGN’s Vulnerability Strategy by aligning with the rurality and financial hardship themes.

  • Green Doctor - Energy Matters

    This project is aiming to tackle fuel poverty, energy vulnerability and related issues. The Green Doctor’s role is to install small energy efficiency measures, complete PSR referrals, raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the need to have both regular appliance safety checks and install CO alarms. The project is taking place in Yorkshire, Tees Valley, Newcastle and Gateshead.

  • Green Doctor - Fuel Poverty Training Course

    Taking place across the NGN network, the digital course is focused on tackling the lack of knowledge around fuel poverty, through awareness training provided for frontline key workers and trusted partners, to help deliver the key messages associated with this. An integral part of the programme will be to incorporate CO safety messages into the training sessions.

  • Green Doctor - Groundwork's Energy Management Services (GEMS)

    Based in Leeds and Bradford, this project is focused on tackling the issues of climate change and high energy costs, with a view to reaching net zero, through better energy management. GEMS provides an energy management service to community/charitable organisations who are based in buildings that have poor thermal energy efficiency, high running costs and would benefit from support and advice on how to reduce their costs. Some of the buildings supported, link into food banks thereby helping those in need. The overall aim is to implement an energy management system for future sustainability. An integral part of the programme will be to provide CO awareness sessions and to reduce CO emissions. As vulnerable people visit these buildings, it is important that they are fit for purpose, so they experience thermal comfort when receiving advice and information.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Community Energy and Carbon Monoxide Awareness Project

    Certain vulnerable communities within the Bradford district may not be aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, such as refugees, low income families, and BAME communities. Highfield Co-op aim to work closely with these communities to raise awareness of CO poisoning, including the signs and symptoms, and provide advice around energy saving and efficiency. The project will use workshops and community events, as the mediums to access these hard to reach groups.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) - Community Energy Ambassadors

    The project, being delivered digitally across our network region, aims to support vulnerable residents by using trusted social networks within communities, to cascade information and to enable local action to apply for funding/grants and fuel switching, as well as being given safety information around the dangers of CO. An integral part of the programme will be to provide CO awareness sessions’ to frontline staff.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) - Heating for Health

    Over 26,000 households in North Yorkshire are in fuel poverty, where people are struggling to keep warm at an affordable cost. 11.7% of these fuel poor households include someone who has a long-term health condition or disability, which can be made worse by living in a cold home. The project will involve working with health professionals to reduce the number of individuals with a long-term health condition, who are living in fuel poverty in North Yorkshire. An integral part will involve providing training to NHS staff, who can then deliver advice to patients on reducing the risks of carbon monoxide, dealing with damp and condensation and PSR information.

  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor (YED) - Young People with Energy

    At the point when young people start living independently, no teaching nor education currently exists around how to use energy efficiently and safely in the home. The overall aim of this project is to engage with young people within North Yorkshire aged 16-25, to improve their knowledge and understanding of energy use, energy bills and CO safety. The engagement will be through a steering group made up of key organisations and will involve the development of a toolkit, that staff from the organisations can use to educate young people. The organisations involved will include, care leaver groups, the voluntary sector, social housing providers and youth charities.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Visual Impairment Energy Project

    Bradford has one of the highest rates of visual impairment within the NGN network. Highfield Co-op aims to work closely with this vulnerable group to raise awareness of fuel poverty and CO poisoning. Working in partnership with Sight Airedale, who support around 500 local people with visual impairments, they will use resources such as braille and audio to convey key messages.

  • Highfield Co-op - Community Energy Matters Magazine

    Highfield Co-op aim to create a community energy matters magazine, to share key information to communities, about CO awareness and information on energy-related issues including fuel poverty. The target audience is vulnerable people within Bradford and Keighley. The project will support customers via online and printed resources.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford) - Community STEM Events

    Highfield Co-op want to get young people within Bradford District interested in STEM-related careers. The aim of this project is to inspire communities, be creative and organise STEM events in local community settings. Females from low income and ethnic minority backgrounds are part of the target audience, with the ultimate aim to secure jobs in STEM roles.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford district) - Mental Health Film and Conversations Project

    This project is aimed at members of the Bradford district community living with mental health challenges who may struggle to understand fuel poverty and the dangers of CO. Highfield Co-op will show films at several venues to help support the group in understanding the dangers of CO and in accessing information around energy saving tips and ideas. The content of the films will include CO messages and energy advice.

  • Highfield Co-op (Bradford) - Vulnerability Film Festivals - Using Film to identify Vulnerable Communities

    There are vulnerable communities within the Bradford district who may not be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the efficient use of fuel and energy in the home. These include refugees, low income families, elderly, BAME communities and people living with addictions. Highfield Co-op aims to work closely with these groups by running a film festival in Bradford, to attract those who are hard to reach and lack knowledge around key safety and energy information. The films will be produced in conjunction with UNESCO Bradford City of Film.

  • Durham County Council - GP Partnering Pilot

    The GP Partnering Pilot will be a significant step forward in making direct contact with households at risk of cold-related ill health and CO poisoning. The project will target GP patients with COPD or asthma through 30 GP practices within County Durham. Partnering with Clinical Commissioning Group GP practices allows the council’s Warm Homes Team to make direct contact with vulnerable patients, as well as provide advice around fuel poverty and associated issues.

  • Durham County Council – Building Research Establishment (BRE) Data Targeting Pilot

    The pilot allows the council’s Warm Homes Team to make direct contact with vulnerable customers, to raise awareness of fuel poverty and help reduce the risks of CO poisoning. DCC have engaged the BRE to develop a countywide Housing Stock Condition Model (HSCM). The data will be used to target local communities within County Durham, with vulnerable and low-income households for assistance with grants and services, to upgrade homes to a satisfactory heating standard.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) - Rural Food Kitchen

    Rurality and associated isolation can make those living in fuel poverty even more vulnerable. The Rural Food Kitchen project seeks to overcome this barrier. This project has delivered ‘Grow Your Own’ packs to vulnerable and isolated people, and CAN wish to expand the initiative to more households to support healthy eating, through home cooking and delivery of prepared meals. The kitchens will be based at six of CAN’s existing Warm Hubs run by local volunteers. Information on the PSR and CO poisoning will also be provided. CAN will be working alongside Northumberland food banks, to deliver some aspects of this project.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) – Foodbanks

    Community Action Northumberland (CAN) has a long history of working with rural communities and has a strong network of links, including existing foodbanks. CAN are currently working with two food banks, providing slow cooker recipe cards along with the food needed to cook the recipe and the slow cooker. CAN would like to extend this support to four other food banks in rural Northumberland, as well as an unemployment hub. Promotion of CO awareness and access to the PSR, will also be undertaken at each foodbank and unemployment hub. CAN will be working alongside Northumberland food banks and local unemployment hubs to deliver this project.

  • Community Action Northumberland (CAN) - Slow cooker road show

    Building on CAN’s slow cooker and Warm Hubs work, this project will involve spending six weeks of summer 2021 (end July and August), attending rurally isolated settlements in Northumberland, to demonstrate the benefits of using a slow cooker. Associated messaging at the events will focus on energy support (energy efficiency hints and tips), carbon monoxide (CO) awareness and an expansion on the diversity and efficiency of the use of slow cookers. Specifically targeting rurally isolated areas, where there may also be an increase in tourists over the summer holidays, will also assist in conveying key energy and gas safety messages. CAN will be working alongside parish Councils and Northumberland village hall consortiums to deliver some aspects of this project.

  • Harvey & Hugo - Engaging with vulnerable customers PR project

    Although NGN is in constant communication with customers via a range of different channels, we know some of our audience remain hard to reach, in particular those customers living in vulnerable situations. This proportion of our customer base includes the young, older people, those with health conditions, those on low incomes and non-English speaking communities. In addition, it is a challenge for those living in rural isolation to have access to many services, including access to the internet and other essential services. Harvey & Hugo, an integrated communications agency specialising in PR and strategic campaigns, will be appointed to deliver this campaign and address this challenge. This project covers the whole NGN network.