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Full list of energy suppliers giving free cash worth up to £1,500 to help with bills this winter – how to claim

MILLIONS of hard-up households can get free cash from their energy supplier this winter.

It comes as temperatures have dropped this week and more people have been forced to put their heating on.

Energy firms are offering grants from companies like British Gas and Octopus Energy

The amount a household pays for each kilowatt hour of electricity it uses rose to 34p from October 1.

Gas prices are currently 10p per kilowatt hour under the energy price guarantee.

It means the typical household in the UK is spending around £2,500 on its annual energy bills – but those that use a lot of gas and electricity will pay more.

While you can’t avoid the high kilowatt hour prices, there is help available for those struggling.

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 using the Ofgem supplier search tool on its website.

British Gas, E.ON, Octopus and Ovo all offer grants worth hundreds of pounds.

Here we explain all the help that is available, if you are eligible, and how you can claim.

British Gas Energy Support Fund

  • Applications open? Yes, see the British Gas Energy Trust website

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.

Currently, the grant does not have a cut-off date, British Gas says it will continue the support throughout the cost of living crisis.

OVO Energy

  • Applications open? Yes

Ovo customers who are struggling as a result of rising energy prices can access a £50million customer support package.

The package includes a debt repayment holiday for prepayment meter customers and free energy saving products for customers’ homes.

Direct debit customers have access to an online payment support tool, which can be accessed on the Ovo website.

It can help customers to assess the right plan for them.

Ovo said the most vulnerable customers may be able to have their direct debits reduced by up to 15%.

Customers who pay on receipt of bills can create a bespoke payment plan, lasting for 36 months.

It says this has been increased from 24 months to help ease the bill burden this winter.

Ovo has increased its emergency credit from £5 to £15 for prepayment customers.

It is also making sure that if customers are switched to a prepayment plan, they will receive regular check-ins to make sure they can get through the winter.

Prepayment customers will also be offered a payment holiday from debt repayment.

Customers will also be offered energy-saving products for customers’ homes, such as smart thermostats and electric throws – prioritised for those most in need.

You may also be able to claim a free boiler service worth £90, to ensure they are working efficiently this winter.

Customers can also get two free electric blankets per household and a free smart thermostat.

You can apply for the support online or via the app.

Customers will need to fill out a form answering questions about their income and medical needs.

You will need to provide details like your name, account number, address, date of birth.

You’ll also need to state your annual household income, your monthly disposable income, medical needs, how many people you live with and if you receive any benefits.

The support is available now until March 31, 2023.

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 four weeks and be on company headed paper.

The fund does not have a closing date.

E.ON has urged any customers yet to apply for the fund to do so to see what help is available.

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.

We have reached out to EDF to see how long customers can apply for the fund and will update this story when we hear back.

Octopus Energy Assist Fund

  • Applications open? Yes

Octopus Energy offers a number of support options based on circumstances and needs.

These include access to existing schemes, monetary support from the firms’ fund, or a loan of a thermal imagery camera to find heat leaks at home.

Octopus is encouraging all customers to get in contact if they’re struggling with their bills.

You can contact Octopus via its website.

We’ve also asked Octopus how long people can apply for the help and will update this story when we hear back.

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.

Once your application has been submitted it can take up to five working days to be reviewed by the team.

You will then be contacted to confirm whether your application has been approved and advise next steps.

We have contacted Scottish Power to see how long it will be accepting applications and will update this story when we know more.

What other help can I get if I’m struggling?

Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.

Households will have already received a £66 energy bill discount in October and November.

There will also be a payment worth £67 in December, January, February and March.

You could also get in touch with your local council to see if they are still running the Household Support Fund, although many of those schemes have closed.

Charities and other organisations often offer grants and you might be able to spend that money on energy costs.

Households on pension credit or low incomes may qualify for the warm home discount scheme worth £150.

If you’re pregnant or have a child under the age of four, then you may qualify for Healthy Start vouchers to help pay for basic foods such as milk or fruit.

You can apply for free school meals for your child if you’re claiming certain benefits including Universal Credit.

For the full list of help available this winter, see our guide.

Plus, here are five ways struggling families can get free cash to help pay for food this Christmas.

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