What is the project?
The Fuel Management Programme was set up in 2007 by the energy supplier RWE npower, with Macmillan Cancer Support, to help customers who had been diagnosed with cancer and were struggling to pay their fuel bills.
What does it do?
Macmillan estimates that one in three cancer patients wears outdoor clothes indoors to keep warm because they are worried about the cost of heating their homes. The programme allows eligible customers to set up a reduced payment plan that permits them to pay less for their fuel use. On average, 25 customers a month were referred by Macmillan to RWE npower between 2007 and 2012.
Why did it win?
The scheme has helped 1,250 people living with fuel poverty and cancer. The company has written off an average of £240 of debt per customer, and has arranged payment plans to ensure that customers no longer pay more than 10 per cent of their income, saving each customer an average of £500. In addition, RWE npower is now funding three full-time dedicated energy adviser posts at Macmillan.
What did the judges say?
Juliet Silvester, head of CSR programmes at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, said: "This is a very exciting project, making a huge difference to vulnerable people. It's a model that could easily be adopted by other organisations."
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