Like many households and businesses across the UK, farmers are attempting to manage surging energy costs. In response the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) have launched grants of up to £1,500 to provide farmers in England and Wales with support towards domestic energy costs or energy efficiency improvements.
Research from National Energy Action (NEA) highlights that following the price cap rise on 1st April, and subsequent unprecedented increases to gas and electricity bills, 6.5 million UK households will be in fuel poverty, 2 million more than 6 months prior.
RABI’s director of services, Caron Whaley said:
“We should all be able to stay warm at home, however many people are increasingly having to choose whether to heat their home, feed the family or pay the rent.
“NEA research has highlighted links between fuel poverty and wider mental health issues. As our Big Farming Survey report has shown, there are already high levels of poor mental health within the farming sector so it’s important that we understand how to provide the necessary support to tackle this worrying issue.”
RABI, established in 1860, is a national charity providing local support to the farming communities across England and Wales. Its’ regional support teams are receiving specialist training from the NEA on fuel poverty and the associated issues, including energy costs.
“Our service delivery teams have a really good understanding of the many challenges farming people face,” added Ms Whaley. “The additional NEA training will develop their knowledge of some of the less obvious impacts of fuel poverty.”
Applications can be made by calling the charity’s 24-hour helpline on 0800 188 4444. All payments will be means tested against income, in order to ensure a fair distribution.