British Gas offers up to £1,500 support with energy bills

Dominic Littlewood shares energy saving tips

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While Britons face record-breaking energy prices, British Gas Energy Trust is offering two grants to help clear debts – available to both customers and non-customers in Great Britain. The grants, which include the Individuals and Families Fund and the British Gas Energy Support Fund, can stretch to cover debts up to £1,500.

The new energy price guarantee came into effect on October 1, which increased average household energy bills to £2,500 a year.

While this is around £1,000 cheaper than Ofgem’s original price cap for this quarter, it’s still an extortionately high price and according to End Fuel Poverty, approximately seven million households are estimated to be in fuel poverty this month.

In view of this, a number of energy providers have been launching and offering customers new schemes to help with rising bills.

One is British Gas, which is offering a support fund worth £25 million to help households with rising costs, but who is eligible and how can people apply?

British Gas Support Fund

The new fund is designed to help British Gas customers with an energy debt of between £250 and £1,500.

However, it notes grants over £1,500 will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to access the fund, applicants must be a British Gas customer living in England, Scotland, or Wales, in fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty in England is measured using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator. Under this indicator, a household is considered to be in fuel poverty if the following two apply:

  • They are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or below

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  • When they spend the required amount to heat their home, they are left with a residual income below the official poverty line.

There are three important elements in determining whether a household is fuel-poor, and these include:

  • Household income
  • Household energy requirements
  • Fuel prices

They must also have electric and/or gas debt between £250 – £1,500, and be seeking to clear it.

How to apply

To apply for the fund, applicants must acquire proof of all household income as well as a meter reading.

Once obtained, customers can log in and complete the form however, the above must be ready to upload – specifically the proof of income – to successfully apply.

British Gas also encourages people to contact their local Money Advice Agency for help before applying for a grant. According to the BG website, if they get advice, it will boost the chances of a successful grant application.

Individuals and Families Fund

This Fund is open to British Gas and non-British Gas customers and again, offers support for an energy debt between £250 and £1500.

The debt must apply to their primary residence and must be an active energy account.

Who is eligible?

While this Fund is said to be available to anyone, it’s designed to help people who can’t access energy debt help from their own providers.

A statement on its website reads: “The following suppliers Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power, and Octopus all have their own funds to support their customers only, so if you are a customer of one of these companies please apply to them directly.”

Applicants must also live in England, Scotland or Wales, and would have not received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust within the last 2 years.

They must also be seeking the grant to clear an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account in the person’s name or be a member of that household, the energy account must relate to your main residence.

Like the British Gas Support Fund, applicants for this Fund must also be facing fuel poverty, and have received help from a money advice agency.

How to apply

In order to complete the submission, applicants must provide proof of money advice received in the last three months (e.g. a letter confirming the advice provided, a standard financial statement and/or Personal Action Plan).

They must also provide proof of all household income. British Gas customers should also give a meter reading for gas and/or electricity – unless they have a smart meter.

Customers with other energy suppliers must provide a bill based on actual readings dated within four weeks; showing their name, account number or supply address.

If that isn’t to hand, they can also provide an email from their energy supplier dated within four weeks that confirms their name, account number, supply address, outstanding balance, and confirmation the balance is based on actual readings.

If applications for either grant are successful, energy accounts will be credited with the grant – it will not come in the form of cash payments.

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