National fuel poverty charity welcomes over 350 delegates to Sheffield

This week fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) is bringing its annual conference to Sheffield for the first time in 30 years. Over 350 key industry stakeholders will join delegates at Sheffield City Hall to debate the issues around tackling fuel poverty. The conference ‘Fuel Poverty: Our Vision for the Future’ is supported by National Grid and Northern Powergrid and will focus on six key vision statements exploring the wider issues of fuel poverty including; energy efficiency programmes, fuel poverty and health, the heat or eat debate, hard to treat properties, energy behaviour and a fairer energy market.

Expert panels of speakers including  senior representatives from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Ofgem, the Committee on Climate Change, Which? Citizens Advice, the NICE committee on preventing excess winter deaths, and leading academics together with the Chair of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group will explore each of these in turn, drawing upon the experience of those attending the conference.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs, NEA said: “Fuel poverty is now at crisis levels affecting 4.5 million UK households. Cold homes are currently a bigger killer across the UK than road accidents, alcohol or drug abuse. Over the next three days key stakeholders will debate the challenges ahead and urge Government to adequately resource programmes that can improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock. This action will bring multiple benefits: cutting winter deaths; improving health and well-being; creating local jobs; improving local economies and cutting carbon. We can’t afford to wait.”

Chris Train, Director UK Gas Distribution, National Grid said: “National Grid isn’t just taking part in the fuel poverty debate because we can. We are doing so because it’s the responsible and right thing to do. At National Grid we’re using all the tools we have at our disposal to play a part in the fight against fuel poverty but it’s incumbent upon all of us in the energy industry to reach out, form partnerships and develop joined-up projects if we are to fully address the issue and make fuel poverty a thing of the past.“

Siobhan Barton, Northern Powergrid’s head of stakeholder and customer engagement, said: “Whilst we don’t sell electricity, as the company responsible for the power network which delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, we do have a role to play in helping the industry tackle fuel poverty and encouraging energy efficiency.

“We’ve reduced our network charges, which form part of domestic customers’ bills from their chosen electricity supplier, by 14.3%, funded a Citizens Advice Bureau fuel debt advice service and helped kick-start a number of projects through our £50,000 community energy seed fund which we are launching this week for the second year running.  We’re proud to be part of this conference which brings together key industry players and will encourage partnerships that can help local people who need support managing their fuel costs.”

An exhibition running alongside the conference will showcase over 40 companies including manufacturers, installers, energy companies, service suppliers, NGOs and many more. Within the exhibition National Grid will be showcasing the work of their ‘National Grid Innovation Award winners’ who secured a share of £400,000 funding for an innovative project to tackle fuel poverty in their community.

The conference is taking place from 14 – 16 September at Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield. Members of the press are invited to attend by prior arrangement. Contact Claire Henderson on 0191 269 2909 or  For more information and agenda visit


1.National Energy Action (NEA) is the national charity which aims to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help those who are poor and vulnerable.

2. According to DECC’s most recent annual report on fuel poverty there are 4.5 million fuel-poor households in the UK – this equates to 17 per cent of all UK households. Please note, this figure is calculated using the 10 per cent definition (LIHC applies in England only) and is an estimate for 2012 – the latest year for which official statistics are available.

3. National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world and was named Responsible Business of the Year 2014 by Business in the Community. This accolade acknowledges all of our efforts in getting involved with the things that really matter to us and to society. We own and manage the grids that connect people to the energy they need, from whatever the source.  In Britain and the north-eastern states of the US we run systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of people, businesses and communities.

In Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.  In the North Eastern US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.

National Grid in the UK:

  • We own the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, operating it across Great Britain
  • We own and operate the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain
  • Our gas distribution business delivers gas to 10.9 million homes and businesses
  • We also own a number of related businesses including LNG importation, land remediation and metering
  • National Grid manages the National Gas Emergency Service free phone line on behalf of the industry – 0800 111 999 (all calls are recorded and may be monitored).
  • Our portfolio of other businesses is mainly concerned with infrastructure provision and related services where we can exploit our core skills and assets to create value. These businesses operate in areas such as Metering, Grain LNG Import, Interconnectors and Property. National Grid Carbon Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid. It undertakes Carbon Capture Storage related activities on behalf of National Grid.

National Grid in the US:

  • National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.5 million customers in New England and upstate New York
  • We own 3.8 gigawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers
  • We are the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.6 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face at

The National Grid Energy Efficiency Innovation Award scheme was launched across National Grid’s four gas distribution networks and provided a £400k fund to support major innovations to tackle fuel poverty and deliver energy efficiency solutions in communities, with five agencies in total receiving awards. The winning agencies included; CityWest Homes, Walsall Housing Group, Southway Housing Trust, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Derbyshire County Council.
National Grid undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this release, which speaks only as at the date of this release, unless required by law or regulation.

4. Northern Powergrid is the electricity distribution network operator for North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.  The company delivers power safely and reliably to the 3.9 million homes and businesses.  Its network consists of more than 61,000 substations, 29,000 kilometres of overhead line and 62,000 kilometres of underground cable, covering an area of more than 25,000 square kilometres.

For further information please contact Claire Henderson, Senior Communications Officer, NEA on 0191 269 2909 or 07850 308711 Email