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British Gas Announces Plan to Help Struggling Households

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Sep 07, 2022
4 minutes read

While we’ve waited for the government to decide exactly how it wants to help households with this energy crisis, British Gas has taken matters into its own hands. The energy company recently revealed that it will be donating 10% of its profits to help those in dire need as a result of the cost of living crisis.

The pledge is the first of its kind, and with anger mounting at energy companies and their ever increasing profits, it could be the start of a trend for other companies to follow suit.

£12 million has been set aside and will be available to households that have been identified as being in financial difficulties as a result of rising energy costs. Grants will be available from £250 up to £750.

A further 10% of profits will be donated every six months until the energy crisis resolves itself. The first set of grants will be backdated to the start of the year to maximise the amount of aid on offer for struggling families and households.

While this sounds like a fair chunk of money, Centrica, the parent company for British Gas, revealed it is on a record £1.34 billion half-year profit. The £12 million in question is less than 1% of these profits.

This announcement came after inflation hit 10.1%, the highest since 1982. We’ve all been waiting to hear what measures the government will implement in order to tackle this crisis, so this announcement is a partial breath of fresh air.

The government announced the Energy Bills Support scheme, which will deliver a £400 discount over six months from October, but this will disappear almost immediately in light of soaring costs, equating to about £66 a month. Now that Liz Truss has become the new Prime Minister, she’s announced a plan to freeze the price cap at around £2,500 until up to 2024.

The Prime Minister’s package will be paid for through borrowing and taxpayer money, which will cost in excess of £100 billion. While Truss is no fan of windfall tax, this has become a balancing act to make sure households don’t struggle to afford energy but we are also able to invest in the future of our energy system.

Thousands of people face having their power cut off or forced onto a prepayment meter if they’re unable to pay their energy bills this winter. Families falling behind on at least one utility bill increased by 5% in nine months since October last year, and this will most likely get worse.

While there is talk about not paying energy companies in the wake of these increased costs and soaring profits, it will only do more harm than good. You could be forced onto a prepayment meter, where your supply will get cut off once your funds have run out, or court action could be taken against you.

If you are struggling with paying your energy bills, you are advised to get in touch with your supplier as soon as possible. Under Ofgem rules, your energy company has to offer you a payment plan you can afford in order to pay off any accrued debt you’re unable to pay.