Help is on hand for some of the 2.28m households in the UK living in fuel poverty from The FPS (The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers), the trade association for oil distributors, who have established the FPS Surviving Winter Campaign, a charitable endeavour to help people in fuel poverty who use heating oil.
The organisation has already received several donations from oil distributors across the Midlands and has signed an agreement with the Heart of England Community Foundation to administer the fund, allocating awards to those most in need.
The current balance of the FPS Surviving Winter Campaign stands at around £12k available for grants, which includes £3k which was raised at the FPS EXPO Annual Awards dinner in April 2014.
The scheme is being trialled in the Midlands area with fuel poverty rates of 15%, and because of this the FPS felt it was vital to pilot the scheme across the West Midlands first before a national role out.
It is hoped that as more oil distributors decide to support the scheme it can be spread across the whole country.
It’s impossible to help everyone, so initially funds will be made available to participating companies’ customers that are pensioners in receipt of pension credit, living in their own property and using fuel oil as their main source of heating.
The Midlands oil distributors who have supported the fund and whose customers will benefit include: Midland Fuel Oils, AID Fuels and Nolan Fuel Oils.
The FPS also gratefully acknowledge donations made by OFTEC in support of this initiative.
FPS Chief Executive Mark Askew explains how it will work. “Once a payment has been agreed to a household, the distributor that supplies that customer will be informed and receive a subsidy towards the next oil consignment.
“It is expected that payments will be in the region of £100-150 per household and this will be deducted from the total bill for fuel and delivery. After that, the fuel is delivered in the normal manner and the remainder of the bill is paid by the householder.
“Those companies who are participating in the scheme will also provide the entire charitable delivery at below the cost price meaning that the fuel is even less expensive.”
The Heart of England Community Foundation have said: “There are many older vulnerable people now living in fuel poverty across the country and the Foundation is delighted to be able to work with the FPS to help support those pensioners in need as the temperature drops.”
Further information on the campaign can be found by contacting the FPS direct on 0121 767 1321 or by contacting one of the FPS Surviving Winter oil distributors:
Midland Fuel Oils -0121 693 9333
AID Fuel Oils Ltd - 01543 506117
Nolan Oils Ltd - 01869 343477
Heart of England Community Foundation
The Heart of England Community Foundation was established in 1995 and manages funds for many local companies including, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Orbit Heart of England, Coventry Building Society, AXA, Rolls Royce, National Grid, Midland Heart and now the FPS. The charity awarded nearly £540,000 last year to voluntary and community projects across Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.
It is one of 48 Community Foundations in the UK. Community Foundations are experts in revitalising local communities through effective charitable giving.