Cadent Foundation marks five years and unveils plans to end fuel poverty

FIVE years on from the launch of the Cadent Foundation, it has released its annual Impact Report ‘Working together for a future without fuel poverty’ and revealed important new developments in the next phase of growth, as it aims to double the number of people supported in its mission to end fuel poverty.

Since its launch in 2019, the Cadent Foundation has awarded over 25 million in charitable grants and in the past year alone, has driven initiatives with charity partners – including Groundwork and Citizens Advice – that have supported over 35,000 people living in the most vulnerable situations.

Throughout 2023, the Cadent Foundation projects, which operate throughout the most deprived areas of the UK, have helped to deliver:

  • £5,614,046 financial gains from income maximisation support.
  • 33,799 energy efficiency measures installed i.e. draught proofing.
  • £1,129,182 cost savings through energy efficiency measures or advice.
  • 5,827 homes becoming more energy efficient.
  • 4,231 people received income maximisation and debt advice.
  • £4,479,472 debt managed or written off.

Ranjit Blythe, Managing Director of the Cadent Foundation, said:

“The impact we have been able to drive over the past five years has far exceeded the expectations we initially set ourselves. But, while we are all incredibly proud of the work we’ve done with our charity partners to support people living in the most vulnerable situations across the UK, we know there is still so much more to do, with over six million people still living in fuel poverty. We have learned a lot in terms of how to drive and deliver the most success from targeted projects and the next phase in our journey will see us doubling down on our efforts to reach as many people as possible, with both practical and financial support.

“For us, the launch of our first Winter Support Fund in November 2023, which rapidly injected over £2m into communities, was incredibly powerful to witness. We were able to alleviate worry from so many families during the height of winter and it also empowered our charity partners, who were ‘on the ground’ working within the most deprived areas, with an option to quickly help people experiencing difficulties, without having to jump through hoops to do so.”

Some of the flagship programmes from the past year include:

  • The Foundation’s 12-month pilot with Citizens Advice, funding specialist caseworkers to provide energy efficiency advice and support for residents with multiple, complex issues. The project aimed to help people better manage their bills and reduce fuel debt through regular contact and ongoing support. 
  • A new partnership with the Renewal Programme in Newham, which has the highest rate of fuel poverty in London, saw the launch of the ‘Stay Warm’ initiative, bringing together community partners to deliver a ‘one-stop’ energy advice and support service aimed at tackling the rising levels of poverty amongst residents. More than 15 community energy champions have also been trained to ensure the most vulnerable feel supported, helping to break down language and cultural barriers for people accessing vital support.
  • In September 2023, the Foundation launched a two-year partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to help provide energy efficiency and money management advice, via the charity’s Sight Loss Advice Service. People who are blind or partially sighted are more likely to live in poorer conditions due to higher living and energy costs and lower levels of employment. Through this initiative, RNIB expects to reach an additional 10,000 people with bespoke financial and energy efficiency guidance, with some people potentially achieving an income gain of more than £3,000 a year.
  • In 2020, the Foundation launched its largest partnership with Groundwork, funding its Green Doctor programme to provide vulnerable households with essential advice and efficiency measures to tackle high energy bills and stay warm and well in their homes. The project supported more than 10,000 households; expanded and boosted the Green Doctor service and delivered over £1.2m of annual cost savings to residents. While the initial phase of the partnership concluded last year, at the start of 2024 a new, three-year agreement was announced, with an additional £6m grant to extend the programme, with ambitious plans in place to also boost job opportunities via a new Green Doctors Academy.

Reflecting on the next phase of the Cadent Foundation’s evolution, Ranjit added:

“We certainly have no plans to stand still! With the need as high as ever, we now want to engage in more high-impact projects that work even harder to reach even more people – with the ultimate goal of doubling our impact in the next five years. A key part of our evolution will see us, for the first time, becoming a charitable partner in our own right – facilitating Cadent’s 6,000 colleagues to directly fundraise and support hyper-local charities that align with the organisation’s Force for Good agenda. This new initiative supports our goal of reaching more people while continuing to fund and deliver major nationwide fuel poverty projects.”

The Cadent Foundation’s new 2024 Impact Report, ‘Working together for a future without fuel poverty’, details the grants awarded in 2023 and how the funding has improved the lives of so many communities throughout the UK.

To learn more, please visit Cadent Foundation – Cadent Gas Ltd.