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25-04-2022 by 
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It is inevitable that some households are going to get behind with their energy bills in light of the unprecedented price rises on 1st April. It isn't always well publicised that some of the big energy suppliers have hardship funds that customers can apply to to get help with arrears.

 

How to apply?

In most cases you will need to complete an online application form that asks about your income and expenditure, details about your energy account and the circumstances that led you to building up debt. Some will require you to have money advice before applying from a FCA-registered organisation such as your local Citizens Advice, Stepchange or National Debtline

The hardship fund will review your application and decide whether or not they can help you. In some cases they will make a provisional offer and ask you to pay for three months of energy usage. They all work slightly differently.

 

Which energy companies have hardship funds?

Click on your own energy supplier:

British Gas

Scottish Power

E.ON

E.ON Next

Shell Energy

Octopus

Bulb

OVO/SSE (25/4/22 - currently closed)

 

What if I'm with another company?

The British Gas Energy Trust can help customers of any energy supplier but it is much harder to get support as the majority of their budget is set aside for British Gas customers.

 

Is there anywhere else to try?

If you have worked in a particular job (either a current job or in the past), then it is worth checking out occupational benevolent funds. These help people from a range of different occupations, whether you have worked in retail, construction, horticulture, hospitality, tourism, the NHS, teaching, entertainment and many more. The Turn2Us website has an excellent grants finder where you can look for possible charities that could help: https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/

 

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