British Gas Energy Trust
Citizens Advice St. Helens energy advice project has assisted people who are struggling to pay their energy bills, since 2011.
Funded by the British Gas Energy Trust, the service is open to customers of all energy suppliers, and we help people apply to the following energy trusts and funds which provide free grants to pay gas and electricity debts:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- EDF Energy Trust
- E.on Energy Fund
- Let’s Talk Energy Fund
- N Power Energy Fund
- OVO Energy Fund
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund
In addition to providing debt advice, we can provide advice on doing price-comparisons to switch to a cheaper tariff/energy supplier, and advice on the funding available to install energy-efficient home improvements such as boilers and insulation.
We also have access to the British Gas Energy Trust Emergency Utility Credit Scheme, which issues energy vouchers to British Gas customers on pay-as-you go meters, who have health and financial problems.
Depending upon your circumstances, you may qualify for assistance from other charities, which provide grants for the following:
- White goods (cooker, fridge-freezer, washing-machine)
- Disability aids and adaptations
- School uniforms
- Water debts
If you wish to apply for household items, the charities expect an application to be made to St. Helens Council Local Welfare Assistance Scheme first, if you meet the eligibility criteria: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/benefits/welfare-assistance-scheme/
There is also a free grant search available on the Turn 2 Us website: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/ or you can telephone their helpline on 0808 802 2000.
- Do grants have to be paid back? No. It is free to apply, and nothing must be paid back, if your application is successful.
- How long does it take? The initial appointment is one hour. The time to process applications varies depending upon which charity is applied to, but can average between 2-6 weeks, or longer.
- I’m employed, is this just for people on benefits? No. We can assist employed people as well as those in receipt of benefits, however the criteria of some charities will exclude those who aren’t in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
If you have any queries or would like to access the service, telephone the money advice team on 01744 751380.
We provide an outreach every Wednesday on the Allen Day Unit at St. Helens Hospital 9:30 am – 4 pm. No appointment is required, and it is open to staff, patients and visitors. Ask to see Michael from Citizens Advice, at the reception desk on the unit, and you will be directed to the office where you can discuss your problem in private.