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Trust funded £20m in 20th year to fight poverty

The British Gas Energy Trust has received a funding commitment of £20m from British Gas to continue the fight against the detrimental impacts of poverty across Britain.  

This funding brings the total investment from the Trust to help people across England, Scotland and Wales better manage their household budgets and energy costs to almost *£200m since 2004. 

The Trust directly supports people in or close to fuel poverty via three programmes: debt relief grants which can help households with up to £2,000 in fuel debt; a small grants programme that provides grants for emergency energy vouchers and payments; and money and energy advice support in community-based charities across England, Scotland, and Wales. 

Over the past 20 years the Trust has reached over 2.2m people* with energy debt grants, funded money and energy advice services, the BG Post Office Pop-ups and online budget tools. 

Over the past 12 months, the Trust has supported more than 61,000 individuals and advice-giving organisations. The families supported are in the lowest deciles of household income in the country, all of them in or at risk of fuel poverty – in addition to this 30% of clients supported are Single Parent families, 61% are living with a disability and 20% are food bank users. 

Helen Charlton, Chair of the British Gas Energy Trust Board of Trustees, said:  

“£20m to mark the Trust’s 20 years is a truly remarkable anniversary gift. Thanks to this new funding from British Gas, the Trust can continue to make a real difference to the lives of people into the future by providing help where it is desperately needed. There are huge and continuing challenges around fuel poverty, and the hardships faced by the people we help. Perhaps the best way to encapsulate this and to demonstrate how the Trust helps our beneficiaries is to use their own words: “I had no money at all… I had no bathroom, no kitchen, I was on my own … I couldn’t even cope. They’ve helped knit me back together, got me in a straight line and on my two feet.” We are so grateful to British Gas for this new funding, enabling the Trust to continue to provide such support – helping to change lives for the better.” 

Jessica Taplin British Gas Energy Trust CEO said:  

As we enter our 20th year as a funder, it is clear from the evidence that we are helping more people than ever before with an increase of support of 108% between 2022-2023. 
In fact, we have almost tripled the number of households supported in three short years. And this has only been possible thanks to the ongoing support and generosity of British Gas, this support has helped us respond accordingly and increase activity and funding, when faced with ever increasing levels of need. 
As a funder we will continue to listen and learn, to ensure we are helping to maximise the positive impact of this funding; we are part of an eco-system of support and so it is crucial that we identify where funding can have the most impact.” 

[Trust Chair Helen Charlton with Trustees Laurie Lee and Susan Deacon and employees of Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall]

*Figures are based on historic records and sources, some of which are not audited accounts.