British Gas to hand out £2million extra to struggling customers – how to apply for help

BRITISH Gas is handing out £2million extra to help struggling customers with their energy bills.

It's part of the British Gas Energy Trust which offers funding help to families and bill payers who can't cover the cost of their electricity and heating.

The money can help them write off their energy debts as a cost of living crisis bites.

You can get from £250, with the maximum grant being £750.

British Gas said most customers typically see a payout of around £550.

It was originally launched last year to support Brits who have fallen behind on their bill payments.

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The new funding announced today will be good news to millions of families who are facing a £693 a year hike to energy costs when the price cap goes up tomorrow.

Any British Gas energy customer with less than £1,000 in savings who is struggling to pay their energy bill is eligible to apply for a grant through the updated scheme.

You've also got to have an outstanding debt of between £250 to £750 on an open gas or electricity or duel fuel account.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are a British Gas customer can apply online.

You'll need to provide proof of household income, including all of the adults you live with, and a meter reading of your gas and electricity account.

Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica which owns British Gas said: “We hear from customers every day who are struggling with rising household costs and we want to do everything we can to support them during this difficult time. 

"The extra funding adds to the financial support and advice we already offer and ensures grants will be available for our customers as we go through the year."

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Can I get other help with energy bills?

Every winter there's government help at hand so households don't have to struggle as much with their energy bills.

A lot of that help ends as of today though, such as the £300 winter fuel payment which helps cover pensioners' energy costs during the harshest months.

It's also the deadline for many Household Support Fund applications, where councils give out free cash and vouchers to hard-up families struggling to pay their bills.

But all energy customers will get a £200 refund on their energy bill later in the year too.

This is part of a package of support designed to help Brits struggling as costs rise and will be applied automatically, but not until October.

The discount will need to be repaid in £40 annual instalments, starting from April next year for five years.

Millions of households will be getting a £150 council tax rebate from tomorrow to help cover the cost of rising bills too.

The council tax rebate won't bring your energy bills down, but the £150 is designed to help households battle the cost of living.

You've got to be in council tax bands A to D to get the cash – which amounts to around 80% of homes.

You may also be able to get a budgeting loan from the Social Fund to help with intermittent expenses like cost of installing a prepayment meter or connection charges if you move home.

You're more likely to be eligible if you receive pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income-related employment and support allowance.

Universal Credit claimants will need to apply for a budgeting advance – these are interest free loans, but must be paid back.

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You will need to have been receiving benefits for more than six months before applying.

It's best to check cash you can get that you don't have to pay back before applying for a loan or advance.

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