EDF Energy Trust - Eligibility, Application and Contact
The EDF Energy Trust is a registered nonprofit organisation which helps people who have problems paying their gas and electricity bills. If you are a current domestic customer of EDF Energy in financial difficulty, you can ask for assistance with covering energy costs or paying for energy efficiency improvements to your home.
What is the EDF Energy Trust?
The Trust has grants available to pay off energy debts owed to EDF Energy or to other suppliers, to deal with fees caused by bankruptcy or other insolvency actions as well as to pay for energy-efficient models of essential home appliances such as cookers.
The Trust exists to offer vulnerable people who may be in dire financial straits a second chance and hopefully keep them out of debt in the future. However, it recommends customers look for advice before applying to it, for example by speaking to your local Citizens Advice team.
Organisations which provide advice to people and communities about money, debt and fuel poverty can also apply to the Trust for funding to help in their work.
Since the EDF Energy Trust was set up in 2003, it has allocated almost £16m worth of grants to individuals and families. A further £2m has been donated to various organizations dealing with debt and fuel poverty.
The EDF Energy Trust has joined with other utility trusts and funds to create a shared programme for customers in financial hardship. Your application to EDF Energy Trust will be passed on to the other organisations in the programme which may also be able to provide assistance.
The Trust cannot help with debts or domestic appliances that have already been paid for.
Other difficulties outside the Trust’s scope include:
- Fines levied by the police or courts
- Benefit payments
- Business debts
- Debts to HM Revenue and Customs
- Debts from unsecured lending e.g: credit cards, catalogue purchases, personal loans
Who runs the Energy Trust?
EDF Energy provides donations to the Trust, but the charity is run by a board of trustees and is independent of EDF.
The Trustees oversee the Trust's activities but a specialist company called Charis Grants Ltd is responsible for the day to day administration of the charity.
Who can apply?
The application must be submitted by a named account holder with a current EDF Energy contract. If the named account holder is unable to fill out the application, a valid reason must be given for it being done by a third party. The application gives more details on this.
What you need to know before applying
Find out everything you need to know before applying
1. How to apply
To get help from the Trust, you have to fill out the application form.
The first step is to enter your name, email address and a password to create an account.
Once you are logged in, the application process is extremely detailed, but don’t worry, it’s not overly complicated or designed to trick you.
Answer all the questions truthfully and with plenty of details. You can’t make any changes or fix any mistakes once the application has been submitted. If you do make a mistake you will have to call Charis Grants Ltd on 017 334 210 21 to see what they can do for you.
You can leave the application process at any time and go back to it later. Just make sure you click on the “Save and Continue” button at the bottom of the page you’re working on.
To successfully complete the application, you’re going to need at least the following information:
- For gas or electricity debt: account numbers and up-to-date meter readings
- Household income and spending figures
- Household debts
- Evidence of any benefits payments you get
- The first page of the application is called You & Your Household and it asks you to enter standard details such as name, address, date of birth etc. Click Save and Continue when you’re finished with this and all the following sections.
- The next section is titled Is Someone Helping You and asks if you authorize a third party to deal with this application for you. If you click Yes, it asks for their name and contact details. The third party can be a trusted friend, family member or advice charity for example.
- Support for Your Energy Debt is the third page of the application. Here you can enter the details of any gas or electricity debt you have. The debts may be with your current supplier or with a previous supplier.
Read through the questions and answer Yes or No. If you click Yes, more boxes open below the question where you can enter the necessary information. For example, if you click Yes under Current Electricity Debt, five new boxes appear asking for the name of your supplier, your account number, the electricity meter reading for that day/night and current electricity date of meter. Once you have filled in all necessary details click Save and Continue.
- The following page is for the section called Support with Essential Items & Other Help.
Here, you can apply for an energy efficient household appliance such as a gas or electric cooker, a fridge freezer or a washing machine. Again, once you select an item, more boxes appear for you to fill in with more information.
This page also allows you to ask for help regarding insolvency issues of bankruptcy, debt relief orders, sequestration, or minimal asset process fees. The page gives links to additional application forms for each of these specialized topics.
- Managing Your Finances asks about what other steps you have taken to get advice and help about your situation.
- The next three sections titled Financial Statement - Income, Financial Statement Expenditure and Financial Statement - Debts are very, very detailed, so you’re going to want to have all your information about your earnings, (taxes, benefits, pensions etc), expenditure (rent, mortgage, taxes, utilities, shopping, transport etc and debts to hand to fill it out.
If you’re at all unsure or confused, we recommend you consult a professional money advisor to help with these parts.
- Moving on to the section called Your Circumstances, and things start getting very personal. Questions range from asking if anyone in your house is pregnant, to asking about recent bereavements, learning difficulties, mental and physical illnesses and so on.
While you may not feel comfortable answering some of these questions, it is important to stress that the more information you provide and the more accurate it is, the more likely you are to get help from the Trust.
- Thankfully the questions in the next part, Your Home, are much less invasive and quicker to answer.
- The second last part is where you are asked to upload any Supporting Evidence to help your application. The types of supporting evidence required depends on how you answered the questions in the previous sections, these could be proof of income, bills and evidence of any illnesses or disabilities for example. It is likely you’re going to need to scan or photograph some documents if you don’t already have digital copies. You can also post physical copies to the charity at this address:
FREEPOST EDF ENERGY TRUST
3rd floor, Trinity Court
Peterborough PE1 1DA
You should be aware that the Trust cannot begin considering your case until it has all necessary documents, so if you’re in urgent need it would be better to send copies electronically.
- Finally, there is the last section called Declaration & Monitoring Information which asks some brief demographic questions and that’s the end of the application form.
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.
2. What evidence do you need to support your application?
For debts to EDF Energy you can submit a current and accurate meter reading. For debts to other gas and electricity suppliers, the Trust requires a copy of your latest bill or payment demand.
To be considered for payments for home appliances such as cookers, you will need a letter from a relevant professional such as a social worker, doctor or advice worker. If your claim is based on health grounds you will need to submit evidence of your illness or disability.
For help with insolvency issues, you will need to provide a complete list of all your debts and show you have received help from a professional money advisor. Bankruptcy applications have to include your ADJ payment reference and DRO applications require the Insolvency Service's online application ID number. The Trust does not provide help for bankruptcy if your debts amount to less than £15,000 and you have more than £1,0000 in assets or from homeowners.
How will you know if you have been successful?
The Trust will acknowledge your application once they have received it and they will ask for any further documentation at this point and you will have four weeks to submit it.
The Trust will later write to tell you if your request for a grant has been accepted or rejected. In the case of energy debts, the Trust will pay the suppliers directly. For other debts or for purchasing appliances the payment is usually made by cheque to the relevant company.
The Trust receives far more applications for assistance than they can actually help, so a positive reply is not guaranteed.
If you owe your energy supplier money, the best option is to contact them directly, they have systems in place to help people in financial trouble pay their bills. Alternatively, you could contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau who can help you set up a payment plan to tackle your debts.
3. Can I apply more than once?
If you have been awarded a grant from the Trust, you cannot apply again for two years. If your first application was rejected, you can try again if your circumstances become more difficult.
4. Can I get help to complete the form?
Yes, there are fuel debt advice specialists supported by the Trust around England who can help you fill in your application. You can call the Charis Grant’s online support team for more help and information on 017 334 210 21.
The Citizens Advice Bureau can also provide you with help filling in the application.
EDF Energy Trust Contact
You can contact the EDF Energy Trust and the company that administers the trust through various methods.
Energy Trust telephone number
To contact the EDF Energy Trust for general enquiries call 017 334 210 60. To contact the online application support team run by Charis Grant Ltd call 017 334 210 21 Please check with your provider if you don't know how much a call will cost.
Energy Trust email
This is the official email address to use for contacting the Trust about your grant application:
Energy Trust fax
If you don’t want to post or email your application and supporting evidence, it may be possible to fax your documents instead. However, you should call them first on the number above just to make sure they will accept your fax.
Charis Grant fax number 01733 421 020
Energy Trust online form
To apply online, you have to create an account with Charis Grants, who administer the allocation of grants for the EDF Energy Trust. Click here to apply.
Energy Trust address
Copies of documents required may be sent to this address:
FREEPOST EDF ENERGY TRUST
3rd floor, Trinity Court
Peterborough PE1 1DA
If you’re posting your application form 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.
Advice centres for people facing debt
In Scotland there is a different network of Citizens Advice centres, 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 EDF Energy Trust grant.
Other help available from EDF Energy
In addition to the EDF 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 an EDF 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. See our Warm Home Discount guide to find out how you can get help. There’s a limit to the number of rebates available, so if you’re eligible you should apply immediately.
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 could 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 EDF Energy if you can be added to its 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.