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£2 million energy fund to support British Gas customers this winter

Today British Gas announce a new £2 million fund to support their customers this winter, to be administered by the Trust. Centrica Chief Executive Chris O’Shea explains why.

“Every week we hear from customers who are really starting to feel the pressure of increased household costs. Rising energy bills is adding to this burden. It’s distressing to hear some of these stories and to appreciate the choices some people make to ensure their money goes as far as possible. We can’t take this weight off everyone, but I know there is more we can do to help our most financially vulnerable customers. That’s why we’ve set aside an additional £2 million for energy grants to help some of our customers and their families this winter.

This is on top of what we already provide either directly or indirectly in terms of advice and financial support.

Over the next couple of weeks our most financially vulnerable customers will be contacted to let them know they can apply for a no strings attached energy grant from £250. This will be paid directly onto their bill and will be administered by the British Gas Energy Trust who do some amazing work with people who are in financial distress.

We don’t have a magic bullet and this additional fund won’t help everyone. But I hope it goes some way to making a big difference to our customers that really need our help. We pride ourselves on having a responsible business model, which puts our customers are at heart of everything we do and we’ll continue to support as many people as we can.

It’s really important that as well as helping our customers financially, we also give them the advice and support they need to better manage their finances. We can help by providing energy efficiency advice and pointing them to the British Gas Energy Trust and the front line services it supports across the UK, where there is a wealth of advice and support available.

The energy crisis has put the energy sector under the spotlight, and we must do everything we can to protect and reassure customers. As company after company has gone bust, we believe there are major changes needed to ensure this never happens again. We take our duty seriously to help customers of failing energy suppliers, which is why we have stepped in to welcome and support over half a million customers from these failed businesses.

Things are likely to remain tough for some time, but I want all our customers to know they shouldn’t be struggling alone and while we will help as many of them as we can financially, we will also point them in the direction of the right services and support that can help.

There are a number of ways all energy customers, not just those who are with British Gas, can receive help. I’ve put some links to this help below and would urge anyone who has friends, families or neighbours who are struggling to check what is available.”

British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust (BGET), which incorporates the Scottish Gas Energy Trust, is an independent Charitable Trust established funded solely by British Gas. Since the launch of the Trust in 2004, over £78 million has been invested in helping over 170,000 people manage their energy costs. See how the Trust can help you.

Priority Services Register
We have a Priority Services Register for any customers who are in a vulnerable situation, including transient vulnerability.

Warm Home Discount (WHD) and the Pension Credit

Applications (£140 credit on energy bills for those who are eligible) are now open, and its important customers get their applications in early.

Pension credit is also available. Not only does £1.8billion Pension Credit go unclaimed each year, but this can act as a ‘passport’ for other support, such as the WHD.

Additional sources of impartial advice and help:

• Money Advice Service (or call 0800 138 7777)
• National Debtline (or call 0808 808 4000)
• Citizens Advice (or call 0808 223 1133) or Citizens Advice Scotland or Citizens Advice Wales
• My Money Steps (or call 0808 808 4000)
• StepChange Debt Charity (or call 0800 138 1111)

You can find out more on the British Gas website.