Interest charge

Octopus Energy will charge under the new price cap – and offer payment holidays

ENERGY giant Octopus has announced a massive £40m support package to help customers as they approach the price cap.

Octopus duel fuel customers on its standard variable tariff will benefit from an automatic 4% discount on permanent charges from 1 October.

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Octopus Energy mobilizes to reduce ongoing costsCredit: Alamy

Permanent charges are the base daily cost you must pay, regardless of how much energy you use.

It’s a mandatory bill that supplies your property with gas and electricity – and Ofgem sets the charges.

Currently, the current Dual Fuel Tariff rates are as follows:

  • A standing charge of 28p per day for gas
  • A permanent charge of 46p per day for electricity

But Octopus is stepping in to combat these rising costs by offering discounts to all customers on the Flexible Octopus tariff.

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Under the new promise, duel fuel customers will pay 44.71p a day for electricity and 26.84p a day for gas from October 1, saving them around £12 a year.

Greg Jackson, CEO and Founder of Octopus Energy, said: “The high loads are huge. This £40m package is the start of our battle to bring them down.

“Far too many costs have been passed on to ongoing charges – from network and distribution charges to failing suppliers.

“These fees make it harder for busy customers to save money through efficiency and Octopus is taking a stand to change that.”

Prime Minister Liz Truss’ new energy price freeze will cap energy bills at £2,500 for two years – but that’s exactly what your supplier can charge.

If you use more energy, your bill could still be higher than that.

But to give more help, Octopus will also offer “permanent leave” of up to six months for those who are particularly in difficulty.

About 100,000 low-income households will be eligible, and details on how to apply have yet to be released.

It is assumed that you will need to be in obvious financial difficulty to be accepted – so it might help if you have one or a few benefits. The number of months you get without having to pay an ongoing fee depends on your situation.

Otherwise, the 4% reduction will automatically apply to all those on the standard variable rate during the new rate cap.

If you’re unsure what rate you’re on, we recommend calling Octopus or checking rates here.

What other billing help is there?

Many other energy providers have support funds that you may want to browse if you are having difficulty and not with Octopus Energy.

Ampule

Depending on your situation, Bulb can offer you a grant of £140 to help cover your energy costs.

The company can also offer to cancel your energy debts up to £2,000 and provide you with an energy efficient device.

To be eligible for this scheme, you will need to meet some of the following criteria:

  • You are in financial difficulty
  • You or someone you live with has a disability or long-term health condition
  • You pay for your energy by recharging your meter
  • You have more than £150 of energy debt, but you are able to pay for your current energy consumption
  • You have one or more essential devices that are faulty or more than 12 years old

Bulb is expected to open applications for the 2022/23 program soon – so keep checking their website.

E.ON grants

E.ON and E.ON next customers can apply for cash grants to help cover their energy expenses.

E.ON does not have set eligibility criteria, but the Fund aims to help as many people as possible and applications from those with the greatest need will be prioritized.

In order to complete your request, you will need to know your energy account number and provide a recent meter reading.

Depending on your situation, you will be asked to provide the following evidence:

  • Proof of all household income for yourself and anyone living with you for the current tax year.
  • All Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) pages showing your entitlement to a benefit and amounts due to be paid for the current tax year
  • Pension letters for public or private pensions.
  • Medical certificate from the organization that referred the fund to you or medical form DS1500 or medical certificate from a consultant or your doctor.
  • Evidence of a budget sheet issued to you when you received professional financial advice from the FCA approved agency. The budget sheet must be dated within 4 weeks and be on company letterhead.

Support fund for EDF customers

To benefit from an EDF grant, you must first register for its priority services.

Once you have done this and the company has assessed your situation, you can apply for an energy subsidy.

You will need to have your EDF account number and current energy debt balances, as well as details of your household finances and vulnerability.

OVO Energy

OVO Energy will soon partner with Charis to offer support to struggling domestic customers through the Charis Let’s Talk Energy Fund.

Details of the program remain secret at this time. However, you can register your interest and receive notification when applications are expected to open this month.

Scottish Eating Disorders Fund

Customers could get up to £750 in grants from Scottish Power to help pay their energy bills.

You may be eligible for help from the Scottish Power Hardship Fund if you receive

  • income support,
  • job search allowance,
  • pension credit, or
  • Employment and Support Allowance
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If you think you might be eligible for the cash grant, you can apply online and you should receive a response within five working days.

Read here to find out more about British Gas’s hardship fund – you’ll need to be a customer, but you could get up to £1,500.