British Gas Energy Trust supports 61,121 clients with over £20.5 million in grants to individuals and organisations in 2023
Trends in support services highlight the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on people across the UK
Analysis of the British Energy Trust’s patterns and client demographics give us a greater understanding of who is being impacted by the current cost-of-living crisis and who is being supported by the Trust.
Many of our findings are also reflected in a recent report by Citizens Advice Scotland, their Cost of Living Analysis.
Their report details the types of people particularly in need of advice services. The trends in support services highlighted below provide stark evidence of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on people across the UK.
- In 2022/23, 61,121 clients have been supported with over £20.5 million spent in grants to individuals and organisations.
- 27% of adults in Britain are struggling with their mental health due to the cost-of-living crisis, with 40% dreading winter and the increase in bills it will bring.
- 23% of clients have no access to the internet or require digital support.
- There are now more families accessing money and energy support for the first time; 32% of clients are single parent families and 29% of clients have caring responsibilities.
- 29% of the Trusts clients are using foodbanks, echoed by the 37% of those seeking support through Citizens Advice also seeking foodbank advice.
- Clients are presenting complex cases requiring months of ongoing support. The Trusts funded organisations had a total of 60,796 casework support hours for 2022/23.
- Increases have also been seen in incorrect billing and challenges contacting utility suppliers with over 2,250 tariff switching exercises enabled.
- In 2021/22, 17,042 clients were given benefit and/or income maximisation checks. In 2022/23, this number increased to 26,706.
- 32% of clients presented with mental health conditions with a further 61% living with a disability.
- Those needing urgent support such as fuel vouchers to be able to reconnect their energy supply totalled 15,667.
About this change in demographic, Jessica Taplin CEO said:
“In the coming months, the energy crisis will continue to hit those on the lowest income the hardest. This situation is likely to be as bad, if not worse, than last winter, not least due to the rise in the energy price cap.
Cases have increased in their complexity, with clients often requiring immediate crisis support followed by months of ongoing work and strong advocacy. It is essential that those in need continue to receive vital support.
The Trust places great emphasis on its holistic approach to create lasting change, through services such as income maximisation, benefits checks and increased confidence in money management.”
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British Gas Energy Trust currently has two support funds available. The Individuals and Families Fund, and the Energy Support Fund. To check your eligibility and apply, please click here.