Posted 14th Sep 2022
Update 1
Thread updated 21/09
Given the energy and cost of living crisis in the UK, you maybe in need of some support to help you pay your energy bill over the coming months. This thread looks to explore the energy grants that are currently available by energy supplier as well as other support schemes in place that could assist you. The following areas are covered

  • Energy grants by supplier
  • Local energy efficiency grants
  • Priority Services register
  • Special government help during the energy crisis
  • Regular government support for energy bills
  • Energy price guarantee
  • Charities and organisations that offer energy advice and support




Energy Grants by supplier

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off. Below is a list of grants available listed by individual supplier. Suggest checking eligibility criteria carefully ahead of any applications and familiarise yourself with the detailed information you need to support your application. You may need help in filling out the form from a friend / family member or independent advisor e.g. Citizens Advice. Typically the respective Energy grant providers ask you to seek debt advice before applying.


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1. British Gas

British Gas offer two kinds of grants for those that live in England, Scotland or Wales, one for British Gas customers and one applicable for all (even if you are not a British Gas customer).

a) The British Gas Energy Support Fund - up to £1500 (British Gas customers)

New fund is designed to help British Gas customers with an energy debt of between £250 and £1,500. To find out if you're eligible/ apply, more info here

b) Individual & Families fund - up to £1500 (British Gas and non British Gas customers)

The Fund is open to British Gas and non British Gas customers with an energy debt between £250 and £1500 – the debt must apply to your primary residence and must be an active energy account. To find out if you're eligible/ apply, more info here

Link to British Gas thread

2. Octopus Energy

Octo assist is a £15m assistance fund for Octopus Energy customers. Any existing Octopus customer who needs help can fill in a financial assistance form. Octopus can then offer a number of support options, including access to existing schemes, monetary credits from the fund, or personalised account support (e.g. return of credit, payment holidays). Octopus customer support.

3. EDF

Existing EDF customers can apply for help from the EDF customer support fund (£10m funding), which could help you with electricity or gas bill debts, and provide essential white goods such as a fridge or cooker. You need to go via the Let's talk website. You'll need to have your EDF account number and current energy debt balances ready, along with details of your household finances and vulnerability. It may be helpful to have your more recent energy bill to hand when you apply. More info



4. Ovo Energy

a) Let's Talk energy fund - Ovo Energy supported households struggling to pay their energy bills through the Charis Let’s Talk Energy Fund. From freestanding appliances, boiler repairs to boiler replacements. The fund is currently closed but is expected to open again end fo September/October, you can register your interest here

b) £50m Customer Support Package to help the most vulnerable this winter from October 1st. This includes

  • Payment holiday for debt repayment for all prepayment meter customers so that money goes directly towards heating, not paying back debt this winter.
  • 200% increase in emergency top-up credit for customers on prepayment meters and continued commitment to never disconnect a customer.
  • Free energy saving products for customers’ homes, such as smart thermostats and electric throws – prioritised for those most in need.
  • Free boiler services worth £90 and 20% discount for A rated boilers to ensure boilers are working as efficiently as possible and to help prevent energy waste in the home.
  • New Partnership with the Trussell Trust to support food banks to meet increased need this winter and help people facing hardship access practical support to get through this crisis and to a place where they can afford the essentials.
  • Continued Partnership with StepChange announced at the start of the crisis to support people facing financial difficulty worth £2m.
  • Dedicated support for our customers in the most financial difficulty from a specialist team


5. EON / EON Next

The E.ON Next Energy Fund initiative has been set up to help EON customers receive extra support. If you meet the criteria, the Energy Fund could help you pay your current or final E.ON Next energy bills and even replace old appliances. You need to go via the Let's talk website.


6. Bulb

Applications for the Bulb 2022 Energy Fund are now closed due to high demand from existing Bulb customers. Keep an eye on this page in case anything changes.


7. SSE (part of OVO family)

SSE Energy has previously supported the Charis Let’s Talk Energy Fund. From freestanding appliances, boiler repairs to boiler replacements.The Fund is now closed, please register your interest using this link, expected to open again end of September/October.




8. SO Energy

There does not appear to be a specific Grant scheme for SO Energy customers. Refer to other broader schemes if in need of extra support and also look at British Gas Energy Trust which is applicable for all.

9. Utility Warehouse

There does not appear to be a specific Grant scheme for Utility warehouse customers. Refer to other broader schemes if in need of extra support and also look at British Gas Energy Trust which is applicable for all.


10. Boost Energy (part of OVO family)

The Boost OVO Energy Fund 2021-22 is currently at capacity. They no longer accepting applications at this time and Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau is in the process of contacting all current referrals. Refer to other broader schemes if in need of extra support and also look at British Gas Energy Trust which is applicable for all.


11. Utilita

There does not appear to be a specific Grant scheme for Utilita customers. Refer to other broader schemes if in need of extra support and also look at British Gas Energy Trust which is applicable for all.


12. Outfox the market

There does not appear to be a specific Grant scheme for Outfox the market customers. Refer to other broader schemes if in need of extra support and also look at British Gas Energy Trust which is applicable for all.




13. Sainsbury's Energy (powered by EON Next)

There does not appear to be a specific Grant scheme for Sainsbury's Energy. There is a possibility that you may have access to EON Energy Next fund (given they power Sainsbury's energy) but no reference is made to this on the website so would need to enquire further.


14. Scottish Power

If you are struggling with debt related to Scottish Power payments, you could qualify for help from the Scottish Power Hardship Fund. This is subject to eligibility criteria which you can check here before you apply.



15. Shell Energy

Shell Energy have set up a £5 million fund for those struggling with their Shell energy bills. They have a dedicated team to help talk though possible options. More info here.


If any supplier is not listed, it's best to contact them directly to see what extra support they can give you.




Local energy efficiency grants

The government is investing £12 billion in Help to Heat schemes to make sure homes are warmer and cheaper to heat. This includes the:

  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme
  • Local Authority Delivery Scheme (Sustainable Warmth Competition)
  • Home Upgrade Grant (Sustainable Warmth Competition)
  • Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
  • Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

This funding is not delivered directly by the government, but through installers, local authorities, energy companies and other bodies.

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Support through installers

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme provides grants to property owners to install low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps.

Support through your local authority

The Sustainable Warmth Competition awards funding to local authorities to help them upgrade energy inefficient homes of low-income households in England. This includes:

  • Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 (LAD3) scheme for low-income homes heated by mains gas
  • Home Upgrade Grant Phase 1 (HUG1) scheme for low-income households off the gas grid

Different local authorities will deliver the funding in different ways - so you will need to check with your council if you’re eligible. Check if your council has received funding through this scheme:

Check if you can get a local energy grant on the Simple Energy Advice website.





Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and network operators offer it. Each keeps their own register. You need to contact your energy supplier or network operator to get on it.


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Specific help you can get with the Priority Services register

  • Advance notice of planned power cuts. If you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons your network operator can tell you about planned power cuts. For example, when they plan engineering work.
  • Priority support in an emergency. Network operators could provide heating and cooking facilities if you are cut off supply.
  • Identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or agreed on picture cards if callers need to visit or contact you. This way you can feel confident they are genuine.
  • Nominee scheme. You can nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier. For example, a family member, carer or someone you trust.
  • Help with prepayment meter access. For example, moving a meter if you can’t safely get to it to top up.
  • Regular meter reading services. For example, if nobody can read your meter.
  • Accessible information. For example, account info and bills in large print or braille.
  • Suppliers and Network operators could offer other support services


Eligibility Criteria: Priority Services Register

There is eligibility criteria for The Priority Services register, which is targeted at pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick

  • Have reached your state pension age
  • Are disabled or have a long-term medical condition
  • Are recovering from an injury
  • Have a hearing or sight condition
  • Have a mental health condition
  • Are pregnant or have young children
  • Have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well).
  • You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.

Similar support services

Suppliers can offer free gas safety checks every 12 months. You can request a safety check if you get a means-tested benefit and either:

  • live with a child under five years old
  • live alone or with others and have reached state pension age
  • live alone or with others and are disabled or chronically ill
  • live with others who have reached state pension age or are disabled, chronically ill or under 18 years old.

Landlords are normally responsible for keeping your gas appliances safe if you don’t own your own home. Further information about landlord obligations is listed on the Health and Safety Executive website. Free similar services to the Priority Services Register are available in the water, phone and public transport sectors.





Special Government help during the energy crisis

Outside of energy grants from specific providers, the government have various support schemes to specifically help with the energy and cost of living crisis. See below for a summary.



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Image Credit: Octopus Energy

1. £400 for all households

A £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme For every household in the UK. The money will be credited to your energy account in 6 monthly instalments of £66.70 starting in October 2022.

Who gets this? Everyone in the UK who is a domestic energy customer. Domestic energy customers are people who pay for the electricity and gas they are using for their homes, not for businesses.

How is it paid? The £400 will be spread into several monthly payments across Winter. It'll be paid by your energy supplier into your energy account balance. If you are a Prepayment customer you will be given vouchers. Prepayment customers are people who pay for energy before they use it.

When is it paid? Payments should start in October 2022.


2. £150 Council Tax rebate

People who live in houses that are in council tax band A - D should've already received £150 directly to their bank account if they pay by direct debit. Visit the gov.uk page for council tax rebate for more detailed information.
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For people who don't pay council tax by direct debit, they should of get a letter from the council telling them how to get the £150. Most people getting this money have been paid already. If you havent and think you should have, check your council tax band on a council tax bill. If you are in council tax band A - D, you should contact your local council.


3. £650 for people who receive government benefits

People who are entitled to certain benefits or tax credits will get £650. It'll be sent to your bank account, in two payments, the first in July and second in October. Visit the gov.uk page on cost of living payments for people on benefits for more detailed info.

Who gets this? People on benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

How is it paid? Into your bank account.

When is it paid? £326 in July 2022, and £324 later in 2022.



4. £300 for pensioners

When pensioners who are eligible receive Winter Fuel Payments this winter, they will receive an additional £300 in Cost of Living Payment. Visit the gov.uk page on cost of living payments for pensioners for more detailed info.

Who gets this? Pensioners who can get Winter Fuel Payments.

How is it paid? When you get your Winter Fuel Payment, you'll receive an additional £300.

This money is not taxable and doesn't stop you from getting other types of benefit.

When is it paid? November or December 2022.



5. £150 in cost of living payments for people with disabilities

People on certain types of benefits will have an extra £150 paid into their bank account this winter. Visit the gov.uk page on disability cost of living payments for more detailed info.

Who gets this? People on some types of benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

How is it paid? Into your bank account.

This money is not taxable and doesn't stop you from getting other types of benefit.

When is it paid? September 2022




Regular yearly government support

There is ongoing support the government gives every year to people who need help paying for their energy. See below for more info.


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1. £250 - £600 Winter Fuel Payment

Visit the gov.uk page on Winter Fuel Payments for more detailed info.

Who gets this?

Pensioners:

  • People who get Pension Credit
  • People born before 25th September 1956, who are in the UK for at least one day between the 19th - 25th September 2022. This is called a 'qualifying week'

Some people on different benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support

The payment is different depending on your circumstances. You should already be getting this if you are meant to be getting it.

How is it paid? Into your bank account.

When is it paid? November or December, but no later than 13th January 2023.



2. £25/day Cold Weather Payment

Visit the gov.uk page on Cold Weather Payment for more detail.

When does this happen? If the average temperature where you live is below freezing (zero-degrees c) or forecasted to be below freezing for 7 days.

Who gets this?

Pensioners:

  • People on Pension Credit

Some people on different benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

How is it paid? Into your bank account.

When is it paid? Between 1st November 2022 and 31st March 2023.


3. £150 Warm Home Discount (England and Wales)

Visit the gov.uk page on Warm Home Discount for more info.

Who gets this? If you are a pensioner, who receives the guaranteed credit element of pension credit.

If you live in England or Wales and are on means tested benefits, and live in houses with high energy costs. A means tested benefit is one where the money, and whether you can have it, are based on how much money you make and already have.

These benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credits Savings Credit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

How is it paid? By your energy supplier into your account balance with them. If you are a Prepayment customer you will be given vouchers. Prepayment customers are people who pay for energy before they use it.

When is it paid? Late October 2022 - March 2023.


4. £150 Warm Home Discount (Scotland)

Visit the gov.uk page on Warm Home Discount (Scotland) for more info.

Who gets this? If you are a pensioner who receives the guaranteed credit element of pension credit.

Other people in Scotland have to apply for Warm Home Discount. To be able to apply, you need to live in Scotland and get means tested benefits. A means tested benefit is one where the money, and whether you can have it, are based on how much money you make and already have.

These benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credits Savings Credit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

How is it paid? By your energy supplier into your account balance with them. If you are a Prepayment customer you will be given vouchers. Prepayment customers are people who pay for energy before they use it.

When is it paid? Late October 2022 - March 2023.


5. Fuel voucher

If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter or in a text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one. Your local council might be able to help you get a fuel voucher - find your local council on GOV.UK. If you’re still not sure if you can get a voucher, get help from an adviser.

You can use a fuel voucher at:

To use your voucher you’ll need to take:

  • the code and instructions
  • some form of ID - for example, your passport or a bill with your name and address

You must use your fuel voucher within 30 days after you get it.




The Energy Price Guarantee: freezing the annual bill at an average of £2,500 for a typical household

From 1st October, a new ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ will mean a typical UK household will now pay an average £2,500 a year on their energy bill for the next two years (the actual amount will depend on your usage). This is automatic and applies to all households. This will save the average household at least £1,000 a year based on current energy prices from October and is in addition to the £400 energy bills discount for all households. This applies to all households in Great Britain, with the same level of support made available to households in Northern Ireland.



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You don't need to do anything to access the Energy Price Guarantee: it'll be factored into your energy tariff, so you'll get the savings automatically. Your energy provider will provide more details what this means for you.

Existing crisis support schemes such as the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme for all households, and up to £1,200 for the most vulnerable households, will still remain in place.




Charities and organisations that offer energy advice and support

If you are still struggling after speaking to your energy provider, there are a number of charities/organisation's that maybe able to provide you with independent advice.

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Contact Citizens Advice if you aren’t sure about your options and need more support. If you are in a vulnerable situation someone at their Extra help Unitt could take on your case.

  • Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online chat
  • For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.



In Scotland, Advice Direct Scotland can help:

  • Visit the energyadvice.scot website
  • Call 0808 196 8660 or use their online chat
  • Email energyadvice scot


Step Change

A debt charity that provides free debt advice to people in England, Scotland and Wales. You can contact it on 0800 138 1111 and they also offer free debt advice online.


Free money guidance to anyone in the UK. You can contact them on 0800 138 7777, or via webchat.


National Debt Line

A debt charity that gives free independent advice to people in England, Scotland and Wales. You can talk to them by calling 0808 808 4000 or go on web chat.



A non-profit organisation backed by the Scottish Government that offers free, practical advice and info on energy in Scotland. You can call it on 0808 196 8660 or contact online.


National Energy Action

The NEA is a national fuel poverty and energy efficiency charity that offers a free support service. It provides energy advice to households in England and Wales. You can contact it on 0800 304 7159 or online.


NI Energy Advice


This service offers impartial energy advice for those in Northern Ireland. You can contact by calling 0800 111 4455 or via online.


Mental health

If you’re finding things difficult and things on getting on top of you, your mental health is as important as your physical health. You should talk to your GP if your money problems are affecting your mental health. You can find other ways to get help with your mental health on the Mind website.

Samaritans

If you need to speak to someone right now you can call the Samaritans for free.

Helpline: 116 123 (Monday to Sunday at any time)

Welsh Language Line: 0808 164 0123 (Monday to Sunday 7pm to 11pm)

Shout

You can also text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained Shout 85258 volunteer. Texts are free, anonymous and confidential from anywhere in the UK.




FAQ's

What can you do if you can't pay your enegy bill?

  • Talk to your supplier as soon as possible. They may be able to offer you a full payment plan review, affordable debt repayment plans, payment breaks, payment reductions, more time to pay or access to hardship funds
  • Check out if you're eligible for a hardship fund. You will usually need to provide plenty of details and proof of your earnings
  • Check if you're eligible for extra help. For example, households on certain means-tested benefits will get £650 this year. Pensioners will also get a £600 winter fuel payment, and the Warm Home Discount is available to millions too
  • See if you can join the Priority Services Register. This is a free support service operated by energy suppliers and network operators
  • The Cold Weather Payment scheme will give £25 to older people and those on certain benefits if temperatures hit zero degrees or below in their area for seven days in a row
  • Contact your council. The Household Support Fund gives councils access to a pool of £1bn to help those in need
  • Try charities for energy and debt advice. These include Home Energy Scotland, National Energy Action, NI Energy Advice, Citzens Advice, StepChange, MoneyHelper and National Debt Line
  • Check if you can get free insulation or boiler grants under the Energy Company Obligation scheme
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