Lightning Reach has joined forced with fuel poverty charity British Gas Energy Trust (BGET) to increase access to financial support for households struggling with energy debt across England, Scotland and Wales.
Recent Citizens Advice research reveals that one in four can’t afford their essential bills, and one in ten has had to borrow money in the past six months to cover their energy bills. Financial support from organisations such as BGET can provide a lifeline, but individuals often struggle to find the support they are eligible for.
Lightning Reach, which now has over 100,000 registered individuals, has helped people in financial need to secure over £9m in financial support since launching in December 2021. Its financial support portal features over 2,500 support schemes including grants from charities, local council funding and support with utility bills including social tariffs. The Lightning Reach portal will link eligible users to BGET’s energy debt write-off grants of up to £2,000 available to both British Gas and non British Gas customers. BGET applicants will also be signposted to Lightning Reach to access relevant support tailored to their specific circumstances. This collaboration aims to address the challenge many face in identifying and accessing available support. In the next phase of the partnership, users will be able to seamlessly apply for assistance directly through the Lightning Reach portal, further simplifying the process.
Jessica Taplin, CEO of British Gas Energy Trust, said:
“By partnering with Lightning Reach, not only can more households access our energy debt write-off grants, but they can also find out if thousands of other support schemes can help improve their financial wellbeing. As the cost of living continues to affect those on the lowest income the hardest, we welcome this collaboration which gives us an opportunity to extend our reach to more in need.”
Ren Yi Hooi, Founder and CEO of Lightning Reach, said:
“We are delighted to be working with British Gas Energy Trust to help struggling households with their energy costs and streamline their access to a wider range of support. By joining forces and simplifying the journey for people to find and apply for vital support across the fragmented ecosystem, we can make a real difference to those facing rising costs.”
The BGET grants available
The Energy Support Fund, designed to aid British Gas customers struggling with bills, has the capacity to clear up to £2000 of domestic energy debt. Additionally, the Individuals and Families Fund has been established to support households, including those using other energy suppliers, by providing financial assistance towards their energy debt. Chloe, Lightning Reach user and BGET grant recipient, said:
“I was in debt with my electric and was worried to heat my home in the winter. I came across the British Gas Energy Fund and applied. I can heat my home this winter and keep up to date with my payment.”
How to apply
Both the Energy Support Fund and Individuals and Families Fund are currently open for applications and will accept submissions until 31 March 2024. To learn more about eligibility and apply, please click here.
Individuals and support workers can find and apply for additional grants and support, including other energy support schemes, via the Lightning Reach portal. For more information about Lightning Reach, visit https://lightningreach.org/ or contact email@example.com.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Lightning Reach:
Lightning Reach is a pioneering Fintech for good startup which simplifies access to grants and other vital support for individuals and families in need. Through its innovative financial support portal, Lightning Reach has already registered over 100,000 users and facilitated more than £9 million in grants to households amidst the cost-of-living crisis. The company leverages cutting-edge technology to streamline access to support, reducing paperwork for organisations and making support more accessible to those who need it most.
About British Gas Energy Trust:
The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent Charitable Trust established in 2004 and independent from, but solely funded by, British Gas. Its mission is to alleviate the detrimental impact of poverty, with a focus on fuel poverty. Support is delivered through three programmes: debt relief grants which can help households with up to £2,000 in fuel debt; a small grants programme that provides emergency energy vouchers and payments; and a programme that funds over 40 money and energy advice projects throughout Britain.