MSE News

British Gas to give struggling prepayment meter customers a £250 free credit to help with energy bills - here's what you need to know

Newport, Wales/UK - 05/01/2020: The side of a British Gas van, parked outside a house.

Struggling British Gas customers with prepayment meters will receive a £250 free credit to help with bills. The energy company would not tell us specifically who would be getting the payment but said it will identify those in need and make the payment without the need to apply.

The move comes as part of a £10 million package of support announced by British Gas for vulnerable customers. If you're struggling to pay for your energy, see our Energy bills help guide for help.

As part of the announcement, the energy firm also said it would not remotely switch any smart meter customers to prepayment meters this winter if they are struggling with bills (unless requested). However, the company did not commit to halting the forced installation of prepayment meters in person.

You won't need to apply to receive the payment

British Gas said it would identify those in need of the £250 payment, so you don't need to apply.

It wouldn't, however, tell us how many customers will receive the extra credit, the exact eligibility or when and how it will be applied.

You can also get help through one of British Gas's energy support grants

British Gas's charity, the British Gas Energy Trust, also operates two similar non-repayable grant schemes: one available to both customers and non-customers and one available to customers only, which are both still open for applications.

Both are only for those living in England, Scotland or Wales, and both are designed to reduce existing fuel debts of £250-plus. Prepayment customers can also apply for the schemes and could receive a grant of up to £1,500. See our our British Gas hardship grants MSE News story for full eligibility details.

If you're a British Gas prepayment customer who is struggling to top-up, but you aren't in debt on your meter, you can contact British Gas or the British Gas Energy Trust to enquire about other help available, such as fuel vouchers. British Gas can be reached on 0330 100 0056, while the British Gas Energy Trust can be accessed via regional trust-funded advice centres (though support may be limited to those living near these centres).  

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!