The General Manager of Communication and Institutional Relations of Gas Natural Fenosa, Jordi Garcia Tabernero, the General Manager of the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation, Martí Solà, and the President of Cáritas, Manuel Bretón, signed a partnership agreement to help groups affected by energy vulnerability in Spain.
This agreement establishes various lines of action related to consumption habits and efficiency, while work will also be done on homes to reduce energy consumption: improvements to domestic electricity installations, work related to air conditioning and enclosures (windows, glazing, etc.) and improvements to building insulation.
“Participation from Gas Natural Fenosa employees will also be highly important to this agreement, via the corporate volunteering the company has been encouraging to help vulnerable families, which also forms part of the Energy Vulnerability Plan: over 20 measures to improve the management of vulnerable households and help social services and third sector entities,” said the General Manager of Communication and Institutional Relations of Gas Natural Fenosa, Jordi Garcia Tabernero.
The Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation is also offering its Energy School to Cáritas so that volunteers and people hired by Cáritas, as well as some of the vulnerable families, can attend any of the training activities provided by the school free of charge, the goal being to train them in energy efficiency and saving best practices and to reduce the energy cost in vulnerable households.
Furthermore, the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation is also providing Cáritas with a freephone number (900444000) for supporting third sector entities so it can ask questions about the paperwork and procedure for obtaining the subsidised rate, vulnerable status certification or equivalent certification for vulnerable groups, and services and addresses for referring people who require assistance.
Energy Vulnerability Plan
The Gas Natural Fenosa Energy Vulnerability Plan is the first such plan to be developed by a Spanish power company. The programme, which has already been implemented throughout Spain, contains over 20 measures of both operational and social characteristics aimed at strengthening and systemising the management of vulnerable customers and enhancing collaboration with third sector entities and communication with social services. In all, it represents an investment of €4.5 million per year.
Gas Natural Fenosa has already signed over 400 agreements with the authorities to protect vulnerable customers, covering over 95% of the population. These agreements and the Energy Vulnerability Plan have avoided power supplies being cut off to 24,000 people.
“Within the framework of this plan, the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation has included actions aimed at working more closely and increasing cooperation with third sector entities,” said the General Manager of the Gas Natural Fenosa Foundation, Martí Solà. The organisation collaborates with various Spanish non-profit entities working on this problem every day.
Furthermore, the operational measures already launched by the company include the creation of a Vulnerability Services Unit specifically aimed at responding to all those cases in which customers may find themselves in a situation of vulnerability. This unit is responsible for answering any call to the new 24/7 freephone number that the company has set up for vulnerable customers (900 724 900). The company has also increased the flexibility of its debt repayment system, offering customers the option to pay their bills in instalments that best suit their situation, with no down payment and no interest.