British Gas is contributing 10 per cent of its energy profits to the British Gas Energy Crisis Support Fund to help financially most vulnerable customers pay their electricity bills this winter. The support announcement comes ahead of October’s energy tariff hike, which Ofgem is expected to announce on Friday.
The UK Gas Energy Support Fund was set up in late 2021 with an initial investment of £2 million in response to the cost of living crisis. Another £4 million was donated in the first half of 2022.
Now, to help vulnerable households stay afloat during the winter months, the firm, which has made huge profits this year, has announced an additional £12m contribution to the fund.
British Gas said the increase makes this the largest voluntary assistance package offered by a British energy supplier to its customer and increases the total amount contributed to the British Gas Energy Support Fund to £18 million over the past eight months.
Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas Energy’s parent company Centrica, said: “The current cost-of-living crisis requires all of us to think differently. As a responsible business, we want to do more to support our customers during this difficult time.
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“Allocating 10 percent of our profits for the duration of the energy crisis will mean we can channel aid to those who need it most. This increase in investment in support of our clients complements the financial support and advice we already offer and ensures that more grants are available this winter.”
Additional support will be available to energy consumers from mid-September, but how much can be provided, who will be eligible, and how can people apply?
How much does the British Gas Energy Fund cost?
Through previous funds, thousands of households have received grants ranging from £250 to £750, according to British Gas.
Fuel poverty in England is measured by the Low Income Energy Efficiency Indicator (LILEE). Under this indicator, a household is considered fuel poor if the following two conditions apply:
- They live in properties with a Group D fuel poverty energy efficiency rating or lower.
- When they spend the required amount on heating their home, their residual income remains below the official poverty line.
There are three important elements in determining whether a household is fuel poor and they include:
- family income
- Energy needs of households
- Fuel prices
How to apply for the British Gas Energy Support Fund
The British Gas Energy Trust will open the fund on Monday 12 September.
There is no information or links to the forms yet, but depending on where other forms are available, they will likely be available on the British Gas ‘Available Grants’ page here.