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EDF Energy Trust: How to Apply for a Grant in 2022

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The EDF Energy Trust was a registered nonprofit organisation that helped people who had problems paying their gas and electricity bills. The EDF Energy Trust has now closed and is no longer accepting applications. However, you can still apply for the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund which is the EDF Energy Trusts successor. Read on to find out how to apply for a grant from the EDF Customer Support Fund.

The EDF Energy Trust closed in late 2019. Financial support is still available, however, through the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund.

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What is the EDF Energy Trust?

The EDF Energy Trust provided grants to help customers pay off energy debts owed to EDF Energy or other suppliers. It also helped to pay for energy-efficient models of essential home appliances, such as cookers. The EDF Energy Trust closed at the end of December 2019 due to changes with industry funding arrangements.

Since being set up in 2003, the EDF Energy Trust allocated almost £16m worth of grants to individuals and families. A further £2m was also donated to various organisations dealing with debt and fuel poverty.

The EDF Energy Trust joined with other utility trusts and funds to create a shared programme for customers in financial hardship. It did not help with debts or domestic appliances that had already been paid for.

Other difficulties outside the Trust’s scope included the following:

  • 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 ran the EDF Energy Trust?

The EDF Energy Trust was governed by a Board of Trustees that was independent from EDF Energy. The Trustees oversaw the Trust's activities, but a specialist company called Charis Grants was responsible for the day-to-day administration of the charity.

Even though the Trust has closed, Charis Grants still manages the new version, which is called the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund.

EDF Customer Support Fund

The EDF Customer Support Fund is there for vulnerable customers who need help with their electricity or gas bill debts. The EDF Energy customers support fund can also help with the purchase of essential white goods such as a new fridge, washing machine or cooker. It can help customers get a fresh start and achieve financial stability.

Who runs the EDF Customer Support Fund?

After the EDF Energy Trust shut its doors in 2019, the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund took its place to ensure vulnerable customers still have access to financial support. The new EDF Customer Support Fund is run by Charis Grants. It also manages the customer support funds for other energy suppliers such as Ovo Energy, SSE, Scottish Power, and E.ON. Charis Grants also manages the Warm Home Discount for suppliers such as Together Energy, British Gas, Bristol Energy, and Utility Warehouse.

Who can apply for the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund?

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Applications for the EDF Energy Trust are no longer available. However, customers can now apply for the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund. This scheme also provides energy bill support to help customers get back on track with their spending. To apply for this fund, you must be an EDF Energy customer.

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How do I apply for the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund?

EDF Energy Trust applications had to be submitted by 30 November 2019 in order to be reviewed. Any applications submitted after this time were not processed.

Even though applications for the EDF Energy Trust are closed, you can still apply for the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund.

Before you start applying for this EDF Energy Fund, we recommend you have the following information to hand:

  • Your energy account number and latest meter reading.
  • A complete budget sheet that includes information about your income, expenditure and any household debts.

The budget sheet should be completed with a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved adviser. You should also include any evidence that relates to your application, which we discuss in the next section.

Once you've gathered these details, the easiest way to apply to the EDF Energy Fund is online. You will need to create an account in order to fill out and submit the application. If you have all the necessary information, it will take around 45 minutes to complete the application.

Once you've started filling out the application, you can leave the process at any time and go back to it later. Just make sure you click the button that says “Save and Continue” at the bottom of the page. Note that if you leave your application for eight weeks without making any changes, it will be permanently deleted.

As with the EDF Energy Trust, you should be aware that the Fund cannot begin considering your case until it has all the necessary documents.

You can also register for the EDF Energy Priority Services Register. Customers on this register can benefit from extra personalised help and support.

It's important to keep up to date with your energy bill whilst you're waiting to hear about your grant. This can help the outcome of your grant be successful. If you're struggling to pay, we recommend you contact EDF Energy to discuss a payment plan.

What evidence do you need to support your application?

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You will need to present the following evidence (if applicable) in your application:

  • Evidence of any illness diagnosed by a medical professional.
  • Evidence of any benefits or tax credits that you receive.
  • Evidence of all income, both before and after any reductions.
  • Evidence of a significant life-changing event
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How will you know if you have been successful?

Once you have submitted your application, the Fund will check that you have provided all the necessary information for review. Charis Grants will notify you within six days if you need to submit any additional information. You should hear a decision about your application within six weeks.

If you have not received a response, you can check the status of your application by logging in to your online account. We also recommend you check the spam or junk folders in your email, as sometimes the response may end up there.

The EDF Energy Customer Support Fund receives far more applications for assistance than they can actually grant, 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.

Can I get help to complete the form?

If you need help completing the form, the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund recommends you reach out to a family member or friend. If you're still not sure, you can also contact your local Citizens Advice, Housing Office, Money Adviser or Support Worker for assistance.

EDF Energy Fund Contact

The EDF Energy Trust telephone number is no longer in service. Instead, you will need to contact the Let's Talk helpline on 01733 421 021. It typically takes less than a minute to get through to an adviser. You can also call EDF Energy on 0800 269 450.

The official email address for the EDF Energy Trust was [email protected]. Since the Trust no longer exists, you should now email [email protected] for questions about the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund.

Advice Centres for Debt

You can go to your local Citizens Advice centre for help in the first instance or check here for information from Advice UK.

In Scotland, there is a different network of Citizens Advice centres, called 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.

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Additional Help from EDF Energy

In addition to the EDF Energy Customer Support Fund, there are other ways to get help paying your gas and electricity bills. So don’t worry if you’re not eligible for a grant. There are other schemes available. Here are some other options for you to explore.

Scheme How The Scheme Works
Cold Weather Payment The Cold Weather Payment is a winter fuel allowance granted by the government to those who meet the qualifying criteria.
If you’re eligible, you could be due a payment of £25 every time the average temperature in your area hits zero degrees celsius or below, for seven or more consecutive days between 1st November and 31st March.
Energy Company Obligation ECO3 Since 2013, the Energy Company Obligation aims to reduce carbon emissions and help households lower their heating costs.The scheme obligates larger energy suppliers to deliver measures to help make homes more energy efficient. The latest scheme known as ECO3 was introduced in 2018 and will run until March 2022 and is focussed on vulnerable customers who are living in fuel poverty.
Pension Credit Pension Credit is a tax-free, means-tested benefit for those over the UK state pension age.
It can also help with heating bills, and you will also receive the Cold Weather Payment automatically, with no need to apply.
Winter Fuel Payment The Winter Fuel Payment was introduced in 1997 and is an annual tax-free heating allowance of between £100 and £300 made to those over pensionable age who may require assistance with their heating costs during the winter.
The winter fuel allowance is not means-tested, which means you can still qualify if you’re working or claiming benefits.
Smart Export Guarantee The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) pays homeowners and businesses for renewable electricity they generate but don’t use and replaced the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme in January 2020.
Unlike the Feed-in-Tariff, Smart Export Guarantee doesn’t have a fixed rate which means you may be able to earn more by switching to a different SEG supplier.
Warm Home Discount The Warm Home Discount gives you £140 towards your energy bills during the cold winter months and is an annual one-off payment.
Larger energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers have a legal obligation to participate in the Warm Home Discount scheme, whilst smaller suppliers may do so voluntarily. Read our EDF Warm Home Discount guide to find out your eligibility.

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.

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