If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you should seek advice as soon as possible.
- Step Change have a useful page about how they can help with energy debts.
- National Debt line also have useful information for dealing with high cost energy bills and can help you if you are in debt with your energy provider.
If you are in demonstrable hardship you may be able to get a grant to help you to pay a large energy bill or to pay off an energy debt. Grants do not have to be paid back. However, these grants are all discretionary, and most grant providers will want to see that you are taking steps to avoid a recurrence of the crisis by reviewing your budget, correctly prioritising any debts and taking any steps that you can to reduce energy use.
Wimbledon Guild provide grants for eligible people in Merton to help with large fuel bills that they can not afford to pay. A Care Needs Assessor from Carers Support Merton can help you complete a grant application for Wimbledon Guild.
Grants from Energy Suppliers
In addition, some energy suppliers also run grant schemes to support customers who are having difficulty paying a bill. You will find that most require that you have received debt advice before applying, in order to ensure that once the bill has been paid, you have a sustainable budget to work to.
The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
- British Gas Energy Support Fund – apply for a grant on the British Gas Energy Trust website
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund – apply for a grant on the Scottish Power Hardship Fund website
- Ovo Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the Ovo Energy Fund website
- Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’ – apply for a grant on the Octopus website
- Shell Energy Support Fund – apply for help on the Shell Energy website
- E.ON Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the E.ON Energy Fund website
- E.ON Next Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the E.ON Next Energy Fund website
- EDF Energy Customer Support Fund – sign up to the priority services register to apply for a grant on the EDF Energy website
- Bulb Energy Fund – apply for a grant on the Bulb Energy Fund website
If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone, you do not have to be a British Gas customer. Again, there is a requirement to get debt advice before applying.
Search for grants
There are two main grant portals where you can search for suitable grants, and further sources of support towards paying fuel bills or debts.
Turn 2 us is a charity-run website with an easy-to-use grant search which tells you how to contact any suitable charities directly. You can register for a free account to send online enquiries and applications to charities through the site.
Lightening Reach can also let you know what grants (and other financial support) you might be eligible for, and help you to apply.