grants worth up to £1,500.
Energy bills will continue to soar because from October 1, 2022, the energy price cap will rise by 80%.
This means that the typical bill will be £3,549 a year.
Finance expert Martin Lewis warned that without extra support, some people will face health problems because they could not afford to heat their homes.
He said: “I am begging and praying and pleading that there is more government help this winter so that people do not die.”
Mr Lewis said that rising prices were a catastrophe that needed addressing immediately.
But to help, some energy suppliers are offering hardship funds worth up to £1,500.
Households may find that they are eligible for a non-repayable grant that goes towards reducing energy debts.
In order to apply, most applicants will need to have spoken to a debt advisor from an agency like Citizens Advice before applying.
Applicants will also need to provide proof of income and living situation, and explain why they are struggling to pay their bills.
Here is what is available at some of the leading energy companies, according to MoneySavingExpert.
British Gas has reopened its hardship fund for non-customers, offering grants worth up to £1,500.
To be eligible, you need to live in England, Scotland or Wales and be in debt to your energy company (not specific to British Gas).
You must also not have more than £1,000 in savings and have received help from a money advice agency.
The easiest, and free way, to do this is through a charity.
The main charities that will help are National Energy Action, Home Energy Scotland and Citizens Advice.
For existing customers, there is a separate Energy Support Fund for its customers that is available all-year round.
Through this, you can apply for a grant worth between £250 and £750.
You have to be in energy debt of at least £250 and not have more than £1,000 in savings.
If you’re accepted for a grant through either scheme, the money doesn’t need to be paid back.
EDF has not confirmed the size of the grants that are part of its hardship fund.
You are entitled to the grant if you are experiencing hardship or struggling to manage energy debt.
EDF customers need to register for its priority services in order to access its emergency fund.
You will need your EDF Energy electricity or gas account number to apply, as well as evidence of any benefits your household receives.
EDF will assess your circumstances to determine how much money it can give you.
You can apply via the ‘Let’s Talk‘ form or by calling 0800 269 450.
E.ON and E.ON Next
E.ON and E.ON Next customers can apply for a grant to help with energy bills.
The money can also help replace household items such as ovens, fridges, freezers, washing machines and gas boilers.
There is no specific criteria and it does not state how much you may be able to claim.
But the energy firm says applications from individuals struggling the most will be prioritised.
Apply through the ‘Let’s Talk’ web form or by calling 03303 801 090.
Based on your circumstances and needs, Octopus Energy offers several support options.
For example, it can help you access existing schemes, provide monetary support. It can even loan you a thermal imagery camera to find heat leaks at home.
There is no specific eligibility criteria for the grant. Instead, the company urges anyone who is struggling to pay their energy bills to get in touch.
In addition to Octopus Energy customers, the fund is also available to those who are signed up to – Affect Energy, Co-operative Energy, Ebico Living, London Power, M&S Energy.
You can apply through the Octopus web form.
Scottish Power is offering grants worth up to £750 but the amount varies depending on needs and funds available.
You may be eligible if you receive Income Support, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Pension Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.
Households with a low income or who have special circumstances might also be eligible.
The money is deposited into your Scottish Power energy account.
To apply for the fund, you must contact a debt advice agency.
You will then need to apply through the Scottish Power web form.
For this fund, there is no set limit or criteria.
It is intended to reduce some of the financial hardship and account debt for those who need it most.
The fund is available for energy and broadband customers.
You can claim this fund by calling Shell on 0330 094 5800.
Utility Warehouse’s hardship fund is in partnership with Citizens Advice.
You may be eligible for this fund if you are in fuel poverty, or are set to go into energy debt or run out of prepaid credit.
The supplier has not confirmed how much the grants are.
To apply, call Utility Warehouse on 0333 777 0777.
Struggling to pay energy bills is extremely difficult but there are ways to make things easier.
These grants will hopefully reduce some of the financial strain going into the winter.
But make sure to speak to a debt advisor before applying for a hardship fund and check the criteria energy suppliers have listed in order for you to be eligible.