British Gas reopens its hardship fund – who can get help and how?

5 min Read Published: 05 Jul 2022

British Gas reopens its hardship fund - who can get help and how?British Gas has reopened applications for energy grants through The British Gas Energy Trust as of the 1st July 2022 extending help to non-British Gas and British Gas customers alike with grants of up to £1,500 if they are facing financial hardship having closed the scheme earlier this year.

What is an energy grant?

Energy grants are funds offered to help households facing financial hardship who have acquired energy debt and can be accessed through a number of energy suppliers.

How does the British Gas energy grant work?

British Gas funds an independent charitable trust called the British Gas Energy Trust, offering energy customers in England, Wales and Scotland grants of up to £1,500 towards energy debt. The British Gas Energy Trust provides access to two funds - The Individuals and Families Fund which can be accessed by all energy customers and The British Gas Energy Support Fund which is only available to British Gas customers.

The British Gas Energy Support Fund

British Gas energy customers can access an energy grant by applying to The British Gas Energy Support Fund where grants worth between £250 and £750 are available but only until the 8th of July 2022. After this date then customers will need to apply for a grant via the Individuals and Families Fund.

The Individuals and Families Fund

Energy grant applications to The Individuals and Families Fund were re-opened on the 1st of July by The British Gas Energy Trust and can be accessed by all energy customers. These energy grants of up to £1,500 will be issued to those applicants who qualify as long as there are resources within the trust fund so applicants should act quickly.

Eligibility for energy grants through The Individuals and Families Fund

To be eligible for an energy grant through the Individuals and Families Fund you must:

  • live in England, Scotland or Wales
  • not have received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust within the last 2 years
  • have an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account for your main residence
  • have electric and/or gas debt
  • be in or facing Fuel Poverty^
  • have received help from a money advice agency (see below for details of these)

British Gas also urges non-customers to check if their own energy supplier is able to support them before applying for the grant through The British Gas Energy Trust.

^ A household is said to be in fuel poverty if 1)They have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level), and 2) were they to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line. (source: www.turn2us.org.uk)

Applying for an energy grant through The Individuals and Families Fund

Applications for grants through the fund have to be well supported with applicants required to show evidence of hardship and confirmation that they have sought debt advice through financial statements and/or personal action plans compiled within the last 3 months.

They will also be required to provide proof of income for the household concerned and recent bills confirming that the debt has been calculated using actual energy readings.

To gain money advice and documentary evidence of hardship you can reach out to a number of debt organisations available through Money Helper's Where to get debt advice.

Other energy funds you may be able to access

In the face of rising energy costs and high inflation, a number of other energy providers have put financial help or signposting in place for their customers. While some energy providers offer similar grants to the one offered by The British Gas Energy Trust, others assist their customers to reduce energy consumption; create payment plans; gain breathing space or access government support.

You can find more details via the links below:

Further reading

Rising energy costs: What help is available and do you qualify?