ENERGY bills are forecast to hit £4,200 this winter, so now's the time to check what help you can get.

There's nothing you can do to avoid the hike, but there are schemes and funds available to hold your hand throughout the energy crisis.

Energy suppliers are also offering cash grants to those hardest hit by bill rises.

You'll need to contact your supplier directly to see what they offer, what the eligibility requirements are, and how much you can get.

If you don't know who your supplier is, you can find out here.

Households can get up to £1,500 in grants from the British Gas Energy Trust to help pay their bills.


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The debt relief grant is available to both British Gas customers and customers of other energy firms.

Scottish Power will pay up to £750 in grants to help its customers pay off their energy debt.

Bulb has previously offered it's customers grants worth £140 to help with rising bills.

E.ON, E.ON Next, Octopus Energy and Ovo Energy also offer grants worth hundreds.

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British Gas Energy Support Fund

  • Applications open? Yes

You do not need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this fund – you can be a British Gas Customer, or a customer from another supplier.

You could get a grant worth up to £1,500.

To be considered for a grant you must meet all the following criteria:

  • You live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • You have not received a grant from the British gas Energy Trust within the last 2 years
  • You must be seeking a grant to clear an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account in your name or be a member of that household, the energy account must relate to your main residence
  • You have electric and/or gas debt
  • You must be in or facing fuel poverty
  • You have received help from a money advice agency

To support your application you'll need to provide evidence that you've received money advice in the last three months. You'll also need proof of your current household income.

British Gas customers will also need a recent meter reading – unless they're on a smart meter.

Bulb Energy Fund

  • Applications open? No

Depending on your circumstances, Bulb may be able to offer you a £140 grant to help with your energy costs.

The firm may also offer to write off your energy debts up to £2,000 as well as provide you with an energy-efficient appliance.

To be available for this scheme you'll need to meet some of the following criteria:

  • You're in financial difficulty
  • You or someone you live with has a disability or long term health problem
  • You pay for your energy by topping up your meter
  • You have over £150 of energy debt, but are able to pay for your ongoing energy usage
  • You have one or more essential appliance that’s either faulty or over 12 years old

It's expected that Bulb will open applications for the 2022/23 scheme soon – so keep checking its website.

E.ON Grants

  • Applications open? Yes

Customers of both E.ON and E.ON next can apply for cash grants to help with their energy costs.

E.ON doesn't have an established eligibility criteria but the Fund aims to help as many people as possible and applications from individuals with the greatest needs will be prioritised. 

In order to complete your application you will need to know your energy account number and provide a recent meter reading.

Depending on your circumstances you'll be asked to provide the following items of evidence:

  • Proof of all household income for yourself and anyone living with you for the current tax year.
  • All pages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stating your entitlement to a benefit and the amounts due to be paid for the current tax year
  • Pension letters for State or private pensions.
  • Medical confirmation from the organisation that referred to you the fund or a medical DS1500 form or medical confirmation from a consultant or your doctor.
  • Evidence of a budget sheet that was issued to you when you received professional money advice from the FCA approved agency. The budget sheet must be dated within the last 4 weeks and be on company headed paper.

EDF Customer Support Fund

  • Applications open? Yes

To get a cash grant from EDF you'll first have to register for its priority services.

Once you've done this and the firm has assessed your circumstances you'll be able to apply for an energy grant.

You'll need to have your EDF account number and current energy debt balances ready, along with details of your household finances and vulnerability.

Octopus Energy Assist Fund

  • Applications open? No

Octopus Energy has previously offered a number of support options based on circumstances and need, including access to existing schemes, monetary support from the firms' fund, or a loan of a thermal imagery camera to find heat leaks at home.

While the scheme is currently closed for applications, Octopus is encouraging all customers to get in contact if you're struggling with your bills.

OVO Energy

  • Applications open? September

OVO Energy will soon partner with Charis to offer support to domestic customers who are experiencing hardship through the Charis Let’s Talk Energy Fund.

Details about the scheme remain under wrap for now. However, you can register your interest and get a notification when applications are expected to open in September.

Scottish Power Hardship Fund

  • Applications open? Yes

Customers could get up to £750 in grants from Scottish Power to help with their energy bills.

You could qualify for help from the Scottish Power Hardship Fund if you’re receiving

  • Income Support,
  • Job Seekers Allowance,
  • Pension Credit, or
  • Employment and Support Allowance

If you think you're eligible for the cash grant you can apply online and should get a response within five working days.

What other help is available?

In terms of council funds, the Household Support Fund helps families with the rising cost of living, has been extended.

For example, residents in Blackpool can get as much as £300, depending on their circumstances.

To find out what support is available in your area, contact your local council.

Cold weather payments up £25 a day are also on offer when temperatures plummet below zero for households on low incomes.

This help could include cash grants to pay bills or cover food costs – the help will depend on where you live.

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The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven day period of low temperatures between November 1 and March 31.

Anyone getting the state pension should also get winter fuel payments worth £100s. Winter fuel payments are a tax-free payment that comes from the government each year and is worth between £100 and £300.

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