Macmillan and npower
Helping people living with cancer keep warm without worry.
If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer, we understand that it can be a really tough time.
Nearly one in three people diagnosed with cancer say they feel the cold more . The side effects of cancer treatment, like weight or hair loss, can make it harder to keep warm, meaning patients often need to turn the heat up. This can have an impact on energy bills, at a time when it may be impossible to work.
In these difficult times we want to support you and help you keep warm without the worry. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to offer npower’s Macmillan Fund.
A growing partnership
Our partnership with Macmillan began in 2004 when our employees voted to make Macmillan our company charity, and we’ve been busy supporting them ever since.
As our fundraising totals grew, we decided we could do even more to lend a hand. Through npower's Macmillan Fund we help customers affected by cancer with their energy bills. We also help fund the Energy Advice Team, which is part of the Macmillan Support Line, and together with our employees we raise money to fund energy grants for people when there’s no other help available.
We’ve committed a further £1m in 2018 to support our customers who are living with cancer through npower’s Macmillan Fund, so they can concentrate on what’s important – getting better.
Here’s how we’ve helped one of our npower customers through the Macmillan fund.
"I felt a lump on my neck, so I went to get it checked out. And the doctor thought it was Hodgins Lymphoma. I didn’t really take it in if I’m honest. I’d like to say it was a shock, but it wasn’t I was kinda like numb to it – I didn’t quite believe it and I thought it had been misdiagnosed even though I could see the lump. I just felt like, no it’s not cancer. Not how other people have cancer."
"I had six cycles of the chemotherapy, just felt completely drained, washed out, tired. I’ve never been a cold person, but I’ve really felt the cold. For month now I’ve had the heating on full blast, I’ve had the fire on full blast, and at times it’s still not enough. "
"I’m a mobile dog groomer. Originally I didn’t think it was going to affect me and I was going to be able to carry on but that didn’t happen and I had to stop work eventually. If you’re not working you’re not earning, and you worry about your bills."
How did Macmillan energy fund help?
"It’s been brilliant to be honest. You just don’t realise how much you need that heat. I met my Macmillan nurse on my first appointment and we had a little chat after I’d spoken to the doctor and she talked about the fuel management programme, she got that set up and got the ball rolling. I know that it doesn’t matter how much I use it’s not going to be a problem, it just took the worry away. I feel like I’ve come through the other side now and it just building myself up, and yeah, I’m getting there."
npower customer, Sue, aged 59 from Essex, was diagnosed with terminal pelvic cancer in April 2016. Sue was no longer able to work and began claiming benefits. After speaking to Macmillan she was helped by npower’s Macmillan’s Fund.
“Due to my treatment, I’m at home all the time”, says Sue. “As my income came down, I couldn’t pay my energy bills - it took months to sort my benefits out so I had no income whatsoever. I thought I was going to lose my home, I thought I was going to lose everything. I was paying £220 a month on electricity and I just couldn’t afford it.”
“When Macmillan explained they could get my payments down to £28 a month. I was absolutely dumbfounded. npower and Macmillan’s support has helped me take back control. I don’t have to worry any more about using electricity, putting on the washing machine or putting the heating on in winter. They gave me back a bit of dignity.”
Suzy I started getting headaches and they turned in to migraines and one night Rich came home and I was passed out on the bathroom floor upstairs.
Rich: Well I was surprised, shocked I didn’t know if she was joking around.
Suzy They told me I had a brain tumour and it would need operating on.
Rich And that really was the beginning, so I’d given up work, and I was just waiting for the next appointment. And there was lots of appointments. And again it’s just reacting really. That was my job. Reacting and making sure there was food in the house, the dogs were walked.
Suzy I was very sick. Very sick and I’d just stayed in bed most of the day sleeping.
Rich I had some savings and during the period when Suzy was diagnosed we went through the savings. We were getting close to not being able to pay our bills, and I had just recently changed to npower, and they said that fantastic new as they run a fuel management programme. And I got a letter through the post from npower saying that our fuel bills were capped and it was a he relief. It was one less things for me to worry about so I could spend a bit more time thinking about looking after Suzy – it’s really just about you getting better isn’t it?
Katie, 47 from Birmingham was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2015. She explains how her cancer treatment made her feel cold and how this lead to problems managing her fuel bills.
“When I was going through treatment for breast cancer, I felt freezing all of the time and just couldn’t warm up no matter what I did. I wanted to have the heating on all of the time but was struggling to cope financially. I’m a single mum of two and ended up just putting the heating on when the kids were getting ready for school in the morning. I’d then spend the day alone in a cold house and used to go to bed wearing a dressing gown and a woolly hat and still not feel warm. Eventually I called the Macmillan Support Line and because I was an npower customer, I was put on npower’s Macmillan Fund. The advisor actually told me to go and put the heating on straight away! It was such a relief. They wrote off an outstanding payment and capped my bills to a manageable amount. I just thought it was too good to be true and really felt like I had won the lottery. Macmillan and npower lifted one of my worries and helped me to focus on getting better.”
 Macmillan/YouGov online survey of 2,014 adults aged 18 and over in the UK with a previous cancer diagnosis. Fieldwork conducted between 26thApril and 3rd May 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representativeof the living with cancer population.
The yearly average increase in energy bills is calculated using the mid-point of each band, £30.00 per month for the ‘£30.00 a month or more’ band, and £2.50 for the ‘less than £5.00 per month’ band. Of the 21% of respondents who say their energy bills have increased as a result of their cancer iagnosis and treatment:
18% have increased by £30 or more per month
15% have increased by £20 to £29 per month
26% have increased by £11 to £19 per month
24% have increased by £5 to £10 per month
17% have increased by less than £5 per month