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Grants to help you pay your energy bills – check what your supplier is offering

Grants to help you pay your energy bills – check what your supplier is offering

Major energy suppliers are providing grants – in some cases worth thousands – to households experiencing financial difficulties. EDF, E.on Next and Scottish Power are among those offering support to their own customers, while British Gas's hardship scheme is available to customers of other suppliers too.

Most of the help offered is in the form of a non-repayable grant that goes towards reducing energy debts. This could be vital for struggling households as energy prices continue to rise – though they will now be subject to a Government cap from Saturday 1 October of £2,500 a year for a typical user.

These grants aren't standardised schemes offered across the board though, so whether your supplier offers support, who qualifies, and how much you'll get varies. Scottish Power, for example, requires people to be on certain benefits, while Utility Warehouse requires people to be in fuel poverty, or about to go into energy debt.

Most applicants will also need to have spoken to a debt adviser before applying, complete an income and expenditure budgeting form, provide proof of income, give details of how arrears have built up, and detail how the grant will help them. Those deemed to have the greatest need are likely to be prioritised.

For further support, see our What to do if you're struggling to pay for your energy bills and Housing and energy grants guides.

Round-up of suppliers offering hardship grants – and how to apply

We've checked all 32 household energy suppliers (including sister firms and sub-brands) and the table below lists those we found offering grants and the key information on the schemes available, though do check the exact criteria with your energy supplier and contact it if you need further help or support. You can also ask certain charities to help you with the application process.

Hardship grants offered by energy suppliers – and how to apply

Supplier scheme Key eligibility criteria How much you could get How to apply

Open to customers of ALL suppliers

British Gas Energy Trust 'Individuals and Families Fund'

British Gas Energy Trust
Individuals and Families Fund

- Can't have had British Gas grant in past two years
- In fuel debt of £250 or more and no savings over £1,000

- Must have sought help from money advice agency in the last three months

- See full info on the British Gas website

Up to £1,500 Via the British Gas Energy Trust website

Open to customers of the named suppliers ONLY

 

British Gas Energy Trust 'Individuals and Families Fund'

British Gas Energy Trust

Energy Support Fund

- Can't have had British Gas grant in past 12 months

- In fuel debt of £250 or more (no requirement regarding maximum savings, though income and outgoings will be assessed) 
- See full info on the British Gas website

 

 

Up to £1,500

 

 

Via the British Gas Energy Trust website



EDF Energy
Customer Support Fund

 

- Experiencing hardship, or struggling to manage energy debt
- See full info on the EDF website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Via the 'Let's Talk' web form or by calling 0800 269 450 (1)


E.on Next
Energy Fund

Also open to customers of:
Sainsbury's Energy
- No set criteria, but based on needs and ability to pay energy bills
- See full info on the E.on Next website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Via the 'Let's Talk' web form (1)


Octopus Energy
Octo Assist Fund

Also open to customers of: Affect Energy, Co-operative Energy, Ebico Living, London Power, M&S Energy
- No specific eligibility criteria
- See full info on the Octopus website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Via the Octopus web form (you must be logged into your account)


Scottish Power
Hardship Fund
- In receipt of: income support, jobseeker's allowance, pension credit, or employment and support allowance
- See full info on the Scottish Power website
Varies depending on need and funds available Via Scottish Power's web form


Shell Energy

Support Fund
- No specific eligibility criteria
- See full info on the Shell Energy website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Call Shell on 0330 094 5800


Utility Warehouse

Customer Support Scheme (in partnership with charity Citizens Advice)
- In fuel poverty, or about to go into energy debt or run out of prepay credit
- See full info on the Citizens Advice website
Supplier wouldn't confirm Call Utility Warehouse on 0333 777 0777

CLOSED – not currently accepting applications



Bulb
Energy Fund

- In financial difficulty

- Live in an area of high fuel poverty

- In at least £150 of energy debt

- See full info on the Bulb website

£140 or £2,000, and/or an energy efficient appliance You can't apply right now (closed until at least 2023)


Ovo Energy
Hardship Scheme 
(This is separate from Ovo's Energy Fund, which closed in 2021) 
- Not yet finalised, though it's expected to benefit those on low incomes or in receipt of the warm home discount, and those using energy for medical equipment
- See more info on Ovo's website and in our MSE News story on Ovo's new £50 million support package
Not yet finalised Applications will open on 1 October 2022 

Last updated on 12 September 2022. (1) 'Let's Talk' is part of 'Charis', an organisation that helps support those in utility debt.

Government grants and other support with energy bills you may be able to get

If you're not eligible for an energy supplier grant, there's other help available:

  • Almost all households will get £400 this winter to help with rising energy bills. For most, the grant will be automatic, paid by your supplier between October 2022 and March 2023. However, those on non-smart prepayment meters will have to take action to get the money, as for some it will be paid in the form of energy vouchers. See our £400 energy discount MSE News story for more info.

  • Those on certain means-tested benefits will get an extra £650 this year. This will come in two payments, the first of which has already been paid to most of those eligible. See What to do if you haven't got the cost of living payment.

  • See if you qualify for other energy bill grants and discounts. For example, millions of people on lower incomes can get the £150 warm home discount from October, while those over state pension age can get up to £600 through the winter fuel payment from November. Our Energy bills help guide has a full list of payments you may be able to get.

  • Check if you can get help from your council. Under the Household Support Fund, local authorities in England have access to a pool of £1 billion in funding to help those most in need. Eligibility varies, as it's up to councils to decide, but generally the grant is for vulnerable households, and those in most need of support. To find out what your council offers and whether you might qualify for support, and to apply, contact your council as soon as you can, as funding could run out at any time.

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