Major energy supplier DOUBLES its energy bill hardship fund – how to apply for help

Major energy supplier DOUBLES its energy bill hardship fund – how to apply for help

04/19/2022

ANOTHER major energy supplier has DOUBLED its energy bill hardship fund as families struggle to get by.

Octopus Energy has increased its financial hardship fund, Octo Assist, from £2.5million to £5million.

It comes as a number of energy suppliers have launched schemes giving out more cash help to hard-up households pay their bills.

Millions of families saw their energy bills double at the beginning of the month, with £700 added to the average household bill.

That's because the energy price cap, which limits how much suppliers can charge customers for their energy, jumped 54%, with even further rises expected in October.

Shell Energy and British Gas have increased their own hardship funds to help customers.

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Octopus doubled its own fund for hard-up households last month.

But households are being encouraged to apply for help with their energy bills now as the cost of living crisis continues to grip the nation.

It comes as Octopus also announced last month it has put in place a loyalty tariff that is below the set energy price cap – which means bills are £48 a year cheaper for eligible customers.

Every Octopus customer on a Standard Variable Tariff will get £2 off the price cap – existing or new.

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So they pay £1,969 rather than the £1,971 that has been set by the new price cap.

How do you apply and who is eligible?

Octopus told The Sun that there is no specific criteria for customers to be eligible for a grant from its hardship fund.

It said that most customers who have been given money have been in debt with their energy bills – but this isn't a condition for getting the help.

The supplier speaks to every customer directly to decide if they can get a slice of the funding. It's decided on a case-by-case basis.

So far, 30,000 customers have been given a grant.

To apply for the help, you can fill out an online form.

You'll be asked questions about your personal financial situation – so it's an idea to have information like bank statements and benefit entitlements to hand when applying.

Octopus isn't the only one dishing out help.

Here are other energy companies who have their own hardship fund – and here's links so you can apply to them:

  • British Gas Energy Support Fund
  • E.on Energy Fund
  • Ovo Energy Fund

How else can I get help with my bills?

There are other schemes in place to help with rising energy costs.

The government is giving all households a £200 discount on their bills in April – but you'll have to pay this back.

You could also be eligible for help from the £500million Household Support Fund.

Councils across the country are offering help with essential costs, including bills and food.

The help available varies across the country, so contact your local authority to find out what's on offer in your region.

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Most energy suppliers have closed their warm home discount schemes, but it's worth checking if yours is still open.

British Gas customers can get up to £750 wiped off their energy bill debts.

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