British Gas Energy Trust - How to Apply in 2021
The British Gas Energy Trust provides funding for debt relief and emergency fuel support. Read on to learn more about its grants and how to apply.
What is the British Gas Energy Trust?
The British Gas Energy Trust operates as an independent Charitable Trust. It is funded entirely by British Gas partnerships and organisations.
The Trust was set up in 2004 to help provide funding for vulnerable and low-income households that are having problems paying their energy bills. Since its launch, the Trust has spent over £78 million to help over 150,000 people manage their gas and electricity costs.
If you are having problems covering energy costs or need help with energy efficiency improvements in your home, the British Gas Energy Trust may be able to help.
Here are some key facts to be aware of if you are thinking about applying for the scheme:
- You do not have to be a customer with British Gas to receive a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust.
- The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity funded entirely by donations from British Gas.
- Every application is considered carefully, and awards are granted for genuine emergency cases only.
- If you are awarded a grant to help you pay your bills, the money will go straight to the energy provider, not to your bank account.
- Only the account holder who pays the energy bill can be awarded a grant. If they cannot apply by themselves (due to disability, for example), this circumstance must be explained and backed up with documentation in order for someone else to apply on their behalf.
- The British Gas Energy Trust strongly advises applicants to get money or debt advice before applying. This will give the applicant a better chance of getting a British Gas energy grant.
- It is really important to reply to any request for further documents within 30 days even if you do not have the requested documents yet, otherwise, they will close your application. Depending on personal circumstances, they may give you more time to submit the required information, but you must communicate with them within that initial 30 day period.
- All documentation you provide must be from the past three months except for annual benefit letters or if any of the following apply: you are a pensioner; you receive benefits; you receive disability allowances.
- If you receive care from a support worker or carer, you can ask the British Gas Energy Trust to contact them so that they can assist with your application. Your information will be kept secure.
Who runs the British Gas Energy Trust?
In February 2020, Auriga Services was appointed as the Trust's new grants management service provider. It is governed by a Board of unpaid Trustees from across the UK. These individuals are experienced in the energy, money advice, charitable and financial sectors. They meet on a quarterly basis.
You can see who the members of the Board are by going to the British Gas Energy Trust homepage and clicking on Meet the Team in the top right corner.
Who can apply for a grant?
You do not need to be a British Gas customer in order to be able to apply for a grant. However, note that the majority of the grant budget is reserved for British Gas customers. We, therefore, recommend you first contact your supplier's customer service team if you are unable to pay your energy bills. If you receive a grant, the Trust will wire it directly to your energy supplier to pay off your debt.
To be considered for an energy grant from the British Gas Energy Trust, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You live in England, Wales or Scotland.
- You have not received a British Gas energy grant within the past two years.
- You must be the account holder. If you are not, the account holder must provide an explanation as to why you are completing the form on his/her behalf.
- You have electricity or gas debt with a British energy supplier.
- You do not have savings above £5,000.
- You have received money advice from a recognized agency.
As part of your grant application, the British Gas Energy Trust wants to see that you will be able to manage your energy costs in the future. This is why it's required that you seek professional financial advice before you start your application.
If you have previously applied and the application was denied, you can apply again if your circumstances have changed.
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How do I apply?
It will help to have the following information to hand before you start applying for a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust:
- Three consecutive wage slips or benefit statements that are less than a year old.
- Your most recent electricity and gas bill.
Once you've got these details together, the most efficient way to apply to the British Gas Energy Trust is to contact them directly or complete the online form. You will need to create an account in order to submit the application online.
If you’re having trouble using the application form on the website, contact the Trust by phone or email to ask for an alternative version of the application form. You can also ask someone to apply on your behalf.
Check with your money advisor if this is the right time for you to apply. If you’re currently having your benefits reviewed or you’re waiting for a decision to be made about the benefits you receive it might be best for you to wait until that is finalised before you apply for the Energy Trust.
What evidence do you need to support your application?
At the end of the application, you will need to provide the following information in your application. Without the evidence, the application cannot be assessed. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible.
- Evidence that you have received money and/or debt advice. You must provide details about the organisation, such as the name of the agency and the name of your personal advisor.
- Details about your energy debt. Once your application is submitted, you will not be able to add additional debts. You must also provide your gas and electricity account numbers, as well as submit a meter reading taken on the day you submit the application.
- Details about your financial situation. This includes the total income received by the household, the total household expenditure, and information about all household debts (including energy debts).
- Information about your circumstances. This helps the Trust to understand the situation in your household and any issues that may have resulted in you applying for a grant.
If you have your evidence ready when you finish the application, you can attach it to the application. If you do not have the supporting information, you should either email the evidence to email@example.com or send it via the post to the following mailing address: Freepost BRITISH GAS ENERGY TRUST. Be sure that it clearly states your name so that it can be joined with your application.
If you’re sending your application via post, don’t include original copies of your supporting evidence documents! Go to your local library and get them photocopied. For online applications get your documents scanned so you can attach them to your application.
How will you know if you have been successful?
You will receive an email from the Trust letting you know if your application has been successful or not. If you’ve nominated someone to apply to the Trust on your behalf, that person will receive the email.
Before the final decision is made, you might be asked to provide more information in support of your application. Keep an eye on your email inbox and be prepared to send your additional evidence within 30 days of the date the Trust asks for the extra information.
Can I apply more than once?
If you apply and you receive an award from the Trust you will not be eligible to re-apply for another two years. However, if your application is not successful you can apply again at any time if the circumstances change. For example, if you are in a different financial situation you can submit another application with details of your new circumstances.
Can I get help to complete the form?
There are various organisations throughout England, Wales and Scotland that receive funding from the British Gas Energy Trust to help people with their grant applications. These are independent organisations whose job it is to give unbiased, impartial advice. See below for more details about how to find an advice centre near you.
To contact the British Gas Energy Trust, you can call 0121 348 7797. Representatives are available on Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 p.m.
For any questions or complaints, you can also send an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit any documents outside of your application, it would be best to email them to email@example.com or send them via post to Freepost BRITISH GAS ENERGY TRUST.
Advice Centres for debt
You can go to your local Citizens Advice centre for help in the first instance. For specific help with completing an application for a British Gas Energy Trust grant, there are a few places in England and Wales that can help you. The British Gas Energy Trust lays out a complete list of advice centres on its website.
In Scotland, there is a different network of Citizens Advice centres, imaginatively named Citizens Advice Scotland, where you can go for help and advice when you’re having money troubles. You can also consult THAW Orkney for specific help to apply for a British Gas Energy Trust grant.
Additional help from British Gas
In addition to the British Gas Energy Trust, there are other ways to get help paying your gas and electricity bills. So don’t worry if you’re not eligible for a British Gas Energy Trust grant; here are some other options for you to explore.
Warm Home Discount
Warm Home Discount is a UK Government-run scheme to help people in fuel poverty pay their electricity bills during the colder months. The amount awarded is £140 and it comes straight off your electricity bill. Sometimes you can get the discount to apply to your gas bill instead; it depends on your supplier.
Read our Warm Home Discount for British Gas customers for more information. If you’re not a British Gas customer, see our Warm Home Discount guide to find out how you can get help through your own supplier.
Cold Weather Payment
Depending on which benefits you receive from the government, you could be eligible to receive a Cold Weather Payment. This scheme comes into effect when the temperature is extremely cold.
If you qualify for the Cold Weather Payment you would receive £25 every time the temperature is below freezing for seven days at a time.
Winter Fuel Payment
People who were born on or before 5th April 1954 automatically qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment. It’s a one-off payment of between £100 and £300 paid to you directly from the government to help you pay your energy bills in the colder winter months. Find out more about the Winter Fuel Payment here.
Priority Services Register
You can qualify for extra help in certain circumstances by asking your energy supplier if you can be added to their Priority Services Register. Being on a Priority Services Register means that you receive additional support according to your particular circumstances, such as issuing bills in Braille or large print for customers who have visual impairments.