British Gas, OVO, Octopus customers can get help with energy bill worth £2,600

Universal Credit claimants may be entitled to a Budgeting Advance
British Gas, OVO, Octopus customers can get energy bill help worth £2,600 -Credit:Shared Content Unit

British Gas, OVO, EDF, EON and Octopus customers could receive up to £2,600 in energy bill assistance as the cost of living crisis continues. Amidst the ongoing financial strain, energy consumers nationwide can avail of help worth hundreds, if not thousands.

Citizens Advice recently revealed that 5.3 million people were residing in households indebted to their supplier, with a staggering 800,000 prepayment meter customers going without gas or electricity for over 24 hours last year.

The study, carried out in 2023, discovered that many households couldn't afford to top up. However, there is aid available for numerous households - from the Household Support Fund, which was recently extended by the Tory government, to energy bill vouchers, grants and more.

The Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund, financed by the UK government, is designed to assist those most in need with significantly rising living costs. The government's guidance explains: "The Fund can also be used to support households with the cost of food and water bills, essential costs related to energy, food and water, and with wider essential costs."

"The Fund can additionally be used to support housing costs where existing housing support schemes do not meet this need.", reports Birmingham Live.

Medway Council in Kent, South-East England, is offering thousands of households supermarket vouchers worth up to £225.

Other local councils are offering £100 vouchers to offset energy costs.


Claimants with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may be able to use their benefits to cover these costs, often referred to as "third party deductions" or Fuel Direct when specifically pertaining to gas and electricity payments.

If you have debts such as court fines, rent, Council Tax or energy bills, your benefit payments could be deducted directly to service these expenses. This mechanism is commonly known as 'third party deductions' or Fuel Direct for gas and electricity payments.

Hardship Funds

Many major energy suppliers operate charitable hardship funds and grants that may be accessed by individuals experiencing financial strain. For instance, the British Gas Energy Trust extends assistance of up to £2,000, which is not restricted to their customers alone but is accessible to all who meet the eligibility criteria.

Chris O'Shea, CEO of Centrica, acknowledged: "We know that many people across the UK are still struggling with the cost of living and need support with their energy bills, and we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to help. That's why we have a £100 million support package in place and have committed £20 million to enable the Trust to continue to support people in financial hardship - through grants, energy and advice services."

"The work of the British Gas Energy Trust for the last twenty years is something I'm especially proud of and it has helped us reach those who need it most during the energy crisis. We've also been able to introduce new initiatives like our Post Office Pop Ups to provide face to face support to all consumers. Even when living costs ease, there will always be people that need this help, and we will continue to work with the Trust."

Free insulation and boiler grants

You may be eligible for free or discounted insulation to lower your home's energy bills. Support might be available if your home has an energy performance certificate (EPC) of D to G or falls within Council Tax bands A-D in England or A-E in Scotland or Wales.

Whether you're a homeowner, landlord or tenant (renting privately or from a housing association), you could qualify. Tenants should consult their landlords before applying as their permission is required for any insulation installation.

If you meet the criteria, essential upgrades such as roof, loft or cavity wall insulation could be yours - potentially reducing your annual energy bill by up to £400.