The British Gas Energy Trust - help with energy debt
If you’re struggling with your energy bills, the British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity1 that can help – no matter who supplies your energy.
Giving energy debt grants and advice
British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charity1 set up to help families and individuals in poverty with a focus on energy debt across England, Scotland and Wales.
If you're affected and don't know where to turn, find the support that’s available.
Want to talk face-to-face?
We’re back working with the Post Office and trained advisors from British Gas Energy Trust funded organisations to offer in-person money and energy advice in the local community.
How British Gas Energy Trust can help
Independent charitable trust
Funded solely by British Gas since 2004, the British Gas Energy Trust has provided consistent money and energy advice for vulnerable households and is one of the largest, grant-giving energy trusts in the UK.
We don’t mind who your energy supplier is
Whether you’re with British Gas or another supplier, there is help available to you. The majority of the information on this page applies to customers of any supplier, but if you’re a British Gas customer you’ll find more focused help towards the bottom of the page.
Advice local to you
The Trust funds local organisations that provide free 1-2-1 money, benefits, and energy-saving advice.
The Trust throughout the year runs a direct access energy debt programme, awarding grants to households most in need of support. Funds are limited and subject to eligibility.
Help for our customers
Our £100 million support package2 offers extra support to customers facing financial hardship including vulnerable prepayment customers and small businesses.
Celebrating 20 years of the British Gas Energy Trust
For the past 20 years, the British Gas Energy Trust has supported more than 2.2 million3 people with energy debt grants, funded money and energy advice services, set up Post Office Pop-ups and provided online budgeting tools.
To mark 20 years of the Trust, we’re donating £20 million, taking our total contribution since launching the Trust in 2004 to over £200 million. This additional donation will ensure help is available in the years to come.
4 steps to find the help you need
Are you getting all that you’re entitled to?
Millions of households are missing out on benefits they are entitled to. The Bounce Back Checklist details the main benefits and schemes to help you maximise your income - whether you’re working or not - with quick links to find out if you qualify and how to apply. It also lists specialist organisations that offer guidance and support on a range of other issues you may be facing.
Don’t forget to review your household budget
It’s always a good idea to review your household budget to see if you can make any immediate savings. That means understanding exactly how much money you have coming in daily, weekly or monthly (your income), and how much needs to be paid out (your outgoings). Remember to include everything from priority bills like your rent or mortgage and energy bills to insurances and living costs including food and transport. You can find resources to help you understand your budget, including a free tool at Moneyhelper.
Step 2. Speak with your energy supplier
If your energy bills are more than you can afford to pay right now, speak with your supplier to see if you can pay what you owe by instalments as part of a payment plan.
Not with British Gas? Click here for a handy list of who to speak to at the main UK energy companies. If you can’t see your supplier in the list, Google your supplier’s name and add “struggling to pay” in the search box.
If you’re a British Gas customer, we’ll do everything we can to help you. Just click the link below to get started.
The British Gas Energy Trust funds advice-giving organisations across England, Wales and Scotland. You can speak to a trained advisor for free in-person, online or by phone. It’s a great next step to getting your bills under control and will help if you later decide to apply for any grants. They can help with:
- Planning your budget
- Checking your benefits entitlement
- Making sure you’re on the most suitable energy tariff
- Negotiating with energy suppliers and resolving energy debt problems
- Completing grant applications
- Specific energy efficiency advice
Just knowing someone is there for you can help take the pressure off, boost your confidence and give you the strength to get back on your feet again.
Step 4. Applying for a grant
If you’re struggling with domestic gas and electricity debts owed to British Gas, you may be eligible to apply for a grant from the Trust to help clear that debt.
You should get money or debt advice before applying for a grant. This will help you feel confident that you’ll be able to manage your energy costs in the future and support your application.
The Trust is unable to help everyone who applies. Please note the Trust will require information on your financial circumstances to be able to assess your application. The full criteria and how to apply can be found on the Trust’s website. The grants available and eligibility criteria may change from time to time.
New British Gas and non British Gas individual and families fund available from 4th December 2023.
Raising awareness of the support available for energy debt
Professor Green, rapper and mental health campaigner, has once again pledged to help raise widespread awareness of the support available for energy debt and encourage people to access the help they’re entitled to.
He has first-hand experience of the fear and anxiety an upcoming energy bill can have on families, having grown up with his grandmother, who struggled to pay the household bills.
Since May 2022, British Gas and specialist advisors from British Gas Energy Trust funded organisations have been visiting Post Offices across Great Britain to offer in-person money and energy advice in the local community.
How the British Gas Energy Trust are helping people in energy debt across Britain
Find out how frontline advice services, funded by the British Gas Energy Trust, are providing money, benefits and energy efficiency advice and awarding grants to households to remove energy debt and fund emergency fuel credit.
Hear from people the British Gas Energy
Trust have already helped
British Gas Energy Trust supports grassroots organisations like IncomeMax and Citizen’s Advice. Watch Manpreet and Zara’s story to see how it helped them take control of their finances.
What’s the average monthly energy bill?
Want to know how much gas and electricity you’re using compared with a typical household?
How much you pay depends on your lifestyle, the size of your home and how many people you live with. See how your bills compare with the average British household and what’s makes up your energy bills.
How to save energy at home
With higher energy costs this winter, it’s never been more important to understand how energy is used around your home – and what energy-efficient steps you can take to lower your bills.
We’ve detailed where on other supplier’s websites where you can find more information about the help available. If your supplier isn’t listed, search in Google for your supplier's name and add “struggling to pay” in the search box.
Help from the government
Find out what government support is available to help households deal with rising energy costs.
Help and advice for British Gas customers
Struggling to pay your energy bills?
Last year, we helped over 300,000 customers manage their debt. So, don't be afraid to tell us why you're struggling, and we'll do everything we can to support you.
Priority Services Register
Our Priority Services Register is a free support service for people who may be vulnerable – perhaps because of their age, health or disability, or if they’re going through a difficult time in their lives.
Warm Home Discount
You may be eligible for a yearly £150 discount on your electricity bills.
British Gas Energy Trust is Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation no 1179578.
Source: Centrica September 2023.
On 25 August 2022, we announced a £25+ million customer support package with an additional £25 million of help for our customers announced in November 2022. In September 2023 we committed a further £50 million, taking the amount we've invested in customer support to £100 million. On top of this, British Gas’ contribution to the Warm Home Discount scheme is over £92 million, which is the largest contribution compared to other energy suppliers. Source: Ofgem September 2023.
Figures are based on historical sources, some of which are not audited accounts.