British Gas has reopened its energy debt grants fund

Britons struggling with energy debt can get support from the British Gas Energy Trust, as the group has reopened its Individual and Families fund.

There is no need to be a British Gas customer to apply for the fund. A person can apply for the funds if they have arrears of up to £1,500 and if they meet the other criteria.

To apply for a grant, a person must meet all of these criteria:

  • A resident of England, Scotland or Wales
  • Have not received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust within the last two years
  • Seeking a grant to clear an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account
  • The account must be in the person’s name or a member of their household, and it must relate to their main residence
  • Have an electric or gas debt and be facing fuel poverty
  • Already have received help from a money advice agency.

The trust said on its website: “As part of your application, we will want to understand how you will be able to manage your energy costs in future.

“This is why it’s so important to ensure you have sought professional money advice before applying, as there may be other routes which are more suitable for your situation.”

The group also urged customers with other suppliers to see if they can get energy debt help from their own provider before reaching out to British Gas.

This includes these suppliers: Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power and Octopus.

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When applying for the fund, a person will need to provide these details:

  • Proof of money advice received in the last three months, such as a letter of confirmation or a personal action plan
  • Proof of all household income
  • British Gas customers – a meter reading for their gas and/or electric account, unless they have a smart meter
  • Other energy supplier customers – a bill based on actual readings dated within four weeks, showing their name, account number or supply address. Or an email from their energy supplier dated within four weeks confirming their name, account number, supply address, outstanding balance and confirmation the balance is based on actual readings.

A person who finds themselves in energy debt can also contact their supplier to see if they can arrange a payment plan, to make their bills more affordable

People may also want to check if they can claim Government support to help with cost of living.

Those who claim Universal Credit and certain other means-tested benefits are to get a £900 cost of living payment this financial year, being paid in three instalments.

Most eligible people have now been paid the first £301 instalment with the second instalment of £300 to be paid in autumn 2023 and the final £299 payment in spring 2024.

Britons may also want to check if they can claim any benefits to bolster their income, as many benefits increased 10.1 percent, including Universal Credit, PIP and Pension Credit.

A person can find out what benefits they are entitled for using a benefits calculator tool. There are several available online, such as the one on the Turn2us website.

People on disability benefits are to receive an £150 cost of living payment, to be paid in summer 2023.

Pensioners who receive the Winter Fuel Payment are also to get an additional cost of living payment of between £10 and £300 this winter.

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