Our Debt & Benefits Blog

Struggling to pay your energy bills?

12th February 2022

We have found very helpful guidance from Moneysavingexpert.com website. Click on this link What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills (moneysavingexpert.com)

This section is particularly helpful

Most energy suppliers offer hardship funds if you're in debt

All the big energy firms have charitable trusts and funds that can help if you're in debt and struggling to repay. They offer schemes and grants to help with your energy costs, to replace faulty or old boilers, and to make your home more energy-efficient.

You'll usually need to be a customer of the firm to apply for help, though with the British Gas Energy Trust anyone can get help, not just its own customers. Help is also available from the following firms for existing customers: EDF Energy Customer Support Fund / E.on Energy Fund / E.on Next Energy Fund / Scottish Power Hardship Fund / Ovo Energy Fund.

However, be aware the application process for help with energy debt is fairly rigorous (a few charities may be able to help with the process if you're struggling). Firstly, you need to have spoken to a debt adviser before applying. You'll need to complete a full income and expenditure budget sheet. You'll also need to provide proof of your income, plus give details on how your arrears have built up – for example, due to illness or redundancy – and say how the grant will help you. It can take several weeks to process your claim.

Exact eligibility requirements vary – some say you need to be in receipt of certain benefits for example – but those with the greatest need are prioritised on a case-by-case basis.