Bulb’s hardship fund reopens, how to claim - and the firms offering energy bills help

By Hiyah Zaidi
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:58 pm
Gas prices have been driven up because Russia is a key producer of the fossil fuel (image: Adobe)
Gas prices have been driven up because Russia is a key producer of the fossil fuel (image: Adobe)

Major energy supplier, Bulb, is offering up to £140 in financial help to households who are struggling to pay their bills.

Households could also receive help with buying energy-efficient appliances and writing off debts.

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What is the hardship fund? 

Bulb is offering the help with Citizen's Advice, which will advise those who need help on saving energy and benefits. 

They will also assess people who are eligible for financial help with energy bills or debts and energy-efficient appliances. 

The exact help available depends on your circumstances but can include a non-repayable £140 grant. 

You may also be able to get up to £2,000 worth of debt written off.

You can access the Bulb fund online.

What did Bulb say?

A Bulb spokesperson said: "The Bulb Energy Fund is one of the ways we can help customers who are struggling with their energy bills.

"We may be able to provide financial grants, support with energy debt or help with energy-saving advice and appliances.

"Applications are open on our website."

Bulb, which has more than one million customers in the UK, was put into "special administration" in November 2021 after admitting that it could no longer afford to keep afloat.

Have other energy companies offered a similar fund?

British Gas

The British Gas Energy Trust can be accessed by anyone, and from July 2022, will offer grants worth up to £1,000. 

For British Gas customers, there are grants of up to £750, and you could get debts of up to £1,000 written off. 

Scottish Power

The Scottish Power Hardship Fund will help its customers wipe £750 off their debts. 

Ovo Energy Fund

Ovo Energy Fund has listed a few ways it can offer advice and provide grants for its customers on its website. 

E.ON 

E.ON has a series of funds such as the E.ON Energy Fund or the E.ON Next Energy Fund which can help customers through grants or by replacing appliances such as cookers, fridges or washing machines. 

EDF

EDF has boosted its hardship fund to £10m and will help individuals on a case-by-case basis. You can find out more: EDF Energy Customer Support Fund

Octopus Energy

The Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’ has increased its financial hardship fund from £2.5 million to £5 million. 

Exact eligibility requirements vary between energy providers, and in some cases, you’ll need to be claiming certain benefits to apply.

Generally speaking, you’ll need to show proof of your income and explain why you’re behind on your bills.

For alternatives, you can also use the free grants search tool from debt charity Turn2Us, and there are around 8,000 grants currently available.

You can also speak to one of the specialist energy charities for more advice if you are struggling with your bills: 

They will also be able to help you if you think you’ve been unfairly treated and want to put in a complaint.