As of last month, applications have been reopened for the British Gas Energy Trust which offers support to struggling families. Through this initiative, households are able to claim up to £1,500 in grant money to assist in paying off debts owed to energy suppliers. This is crucial assistance for those in debt amid the ongoing energy bill crisis and is available to anyone who needs it, not just British Gas customers.
Eligible households are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as money from the grant support is limited.
Currently, there are two schemes available which are operated by the British Gas Energy Trust.
One of these schemes is exclusively open for customers while the other is available to non-customers.
The first grant initiative has been open all year but recently closed on July 8, 2022, but its sister scheme for non-customers reopened after closing in the spring.
This is known as the ‘Individuals and families fund’, and it gives out up to £1,500 in support for eligible households.
Applicants must have had help from a money advice charity in the last three months and must be in energy debt in their active account.
On top of this, applicants must have less than £1,000 in savings and have not received any debt grant money from British Gas within the last three years.
Successful claimants must also be considered to be in fuel poverty or at risk of falling into it, which means they are spending over 10 percent of their earnings on energy bills.
To apply, households can do so via the British Gas website but they must do so under the name of the account registered with the energy supplier.
During the application process, households will need to provide full evidence of their income, expenditure and debt.
Multiple energy suppliers offer similar grant schemes to customers in helping them pay off debt.
Recently, British Gas Energy confirmed it would donate 10 percent of all its profits to its Energy Support Fund.
This included a £12million donation towards the support fund with the grants expected to average £750 per household.
Chris O’Shea, the chief executive of British Gas’ parent company Centrica, shared why the energy supplier is opting to help consumers at this time.
Mr O’Shea explained: “The current cost of living crisis requires all of us to think differently. As a responsible business we want to do more to support our customers during this difficult time.
“Committing 10 percent of our profits for the duration of the energy crisis will mean we can target help to those who need it the most.
“This increased investment in supporting our customers adds to the financial support and advice we already offer and ensures more grants will be available as we go into this winter.”
As it stands, the company has donated £18 million to the British Gas Energy Support Fund and currently contributes £6million every year to the British Gas Energy Trust for all consumers.
On this support, Jessica Taplin, the CEO of British Gas Energy Trust said: “We’re delighted to receive this financial boost from British Gas which will enable us to support tens of thousands of households in need this winter and beyond.
“As a charitable trust we’re helping thousands of people every month who are struggling with bills including energy costs – we know that many people in debt feel they have nowhere else to turn. But help is often available – whether it’s through grants or through charities who provide money and energy advice.
“Advisors listen and support with household budgets and energy efficiency, they can help people access support such as unclaimed benefits as well as managing debt – this huge amount of new funding will help us to support tens of thousands more households at risk and in fuel poverty.”