What to do now the Energy Bills Support Scheme has ended – British Gas Energy Trust
The government’s scheme (also called EBSS) that gave people £400 off their energy bills has finished – but support is still available if you’re struggling.
By now, you should have received all of your Energy Bills Support Scheme payments, which started in October 2022 and finished in March 2023. They should have been paid to you automatically by your energy provider.
If you are on a prepayment meter, you may have received your EBSS payment as a voucher. If so, you have to use that voucher within three months. And although you can request a new one if it has expired, the last day you’ll be able to activate them will be 30 June.
This scheme has now come to an end and won’t be extended or replaced. With warmer weather on the way, energy demand will hopefully be reduced.
However, there are still things you can do to try and reduce your bills and get help if you find yourself struggling to pay.
Summer energy saving tips
It’s more important than ever to follow some simple tips to keep your energy consumption low during the summer. Things like:
- Keep the curtains open for as long as you can to let natural light in
- Switch the lights off in rooms you’re not using and swap to LED lightbulbs
- Open windows and internal doors to let air flow through instead of using an electric fan
- Defrost your fridge to keep ice under control to make sure it’s working efficiently
- Dry your laundry outside or on a rack instead of using the tumble dryer
- Take a four-minute shower instead of a bath
- Wash your laundry at 30°C and avoid half loads
- Switch your appliances off standby
- Turn your heating thermostat down
- Get your boiler serviced ready for winter
Is anything replacing the Energy Bills Support Scheme?
In the Budget, Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of Exchequer, announced a three-month extension to the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). This keeps a typical household energy bill for dual-fuel gas and electricity down to around £2,500 per year.
Financial help still available
People on certain disability benefits like Personal Independence Payments and Disability Living Allowance will get £150 this summer to through a one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment.
Your local council might also be able to help through the Household Support Fund if you’re classed as vulnerable. Under this scheme, councils can provide small grants to help with things like energy bills and housing costs.
And after the summer has gone and you prepare for the winter, remember that older people are eligible for the government’s Winter Fuel Payment scheme, which gives households up to £600 a year.
Check if you can sign up to the Priority Services Register
You might be able to get extra help from your gas and electricity supplier by signing up to their Priority Services Register. You can sign up if you’re either:
- of State Pension age
- disabled or sick
- considered ‘vulnerable’ by your energy network
You could be also classed as vulnerable if you’re disabled or have a long-term health condition.
If you’re struggling with energy bills
Speak up and get support
If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, you should first speak to your energy provider as soon as possible. They have a duty to support you and will do everything they can to make sure you can heat your home. All energy providers can offer small amounts of emergency credit.
To find out more about any other support available, or to check if you’re eligible for any of the current schemes, get in touch with our network.