Since 2004, we've helped families and individuals get back on their feet through the independent charity, the British Gas Energy Trust.
With over 4 million households in the UK living in fuel poverty, we want to ensure families and individuals who need extra help are supported, irrespective of whether they are our customers or not. That is why we fund the British Gas Energy Trust (BGET), which provides free and independent financial advice and grants to people who need assistance with their energy and household bills.
In 2016, we contributed over £10m to the Trust which helped nearly 22,600 people. And since 2004, we have invested £106m in the Trust, benefitting over 195,000 people. Beneficiaries received grants to reduce debt, repair or buy energy efficient white goods that will reduce ongoing running costs alongside financial advice aimed at preventing or tackling debt.
To ensure we reach those who need our help, BGET works with and funds a range or organisations. In 2016, the Trust funded more than 50 specialist debt advisers across 25 voluntary organisations, such as Shelter and Citizens Advice. We also work with organisations like CLIC Sargent and Macmillan Cancer Support alongside a network of GPs and other health professionals, so that people such as those undergoing treatment for an illness, can seek advice and assistance if they are struggling to pay their household bills.
BGET’s presence is creating widespread value in society. This was demonstrated by independent research carried out by Oxford Economics which showed that for every £1 donated by the Trust, the positive impact on society more than doubles, with individuals, families and communities benefitting by £2.10. This is because BGET’s help has led to better health and living conditions for people in vulnerable circumstances which in turn, has resulted in financial benefits for the NHS, government and local authorities. For example, 90% of grant recipients experienced a positive impact in their mental health while 65% reported improvements in physical health which has contributed to the NHS saving over £12m.
CASE STUDY: See how Mrs Jones received help through the British Gas Energy Trust.
Mrs Jones is 69-years old undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. At the same time, she is a full-time carer for her 47-year old daughter, who suffers from several serious health issues including Down’s Syndrome as well as kidney and heart problems. While Mrs Jones receives state benefits and an allowance from Macmillan to help pay household bills, her financial situation is strained and when her old and inefficient boiler needed to be decommissioned, she was unable to cover the cost of replacing it.
Mrs Jones approached her energy supplier for help, but her plea was unsuccessful so Macmillan referred Mrs Jones to BGET. The Trust awarded Mrs Jones with a grant of more than £4,300 for a new, efficient boiler.
Find out more about how we are helping those in need with their energy needs.