Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’: Who is eligible and how to apply?

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Ofgem recently announced the energy price cap will yet again increase as of October, this time to an eye-watering average of £3,549 a year for a typical household. This cap is forecast to increase again in January, adding further pressure on Britons’ pockets, and many, especially the more vulnerable households, have been left wondering just how they’ll be able to afford the extortionate bills.

Octopus Energy has set up a £7 million ‘Octo Assist Fund’ as part of its campaign to help its customers that are struggling or worried about paying for energy this winter.

The scheme offers support in multiple ways based on the circumstances and needs of the customer who’s called.

Support includes access to existing schemes, monetary support from the fund, and payment holidays.

It can also provide free electric blankets and a loan of a thermal imagery camera to find any heat leaks the property might have.

According to the firm, it has helped 40,000 customers with this fund over the past six months, and the scheme currently has no criteria of eligibility to apply.

A statement on its website reads: “Many people experience financial difficulty at some point in their lives, and in those moments, we all deserve a helping hand.”

How to apply for the Octo Assist Fund

To apply for the Octo Assist Fund, customers just need to fill out the financial support form online.

It’s a simple tool that asks a series of questions about the customer’s financial situation.

From here, it’ll be decided what the most appropriate means to help is and just how the firm will be able to support.

What other schemes does Octopus Energy offer?

It also offers customers the chance to opt into its Winter Workout energy saving challenge, which, according to Octopus, helped up to 150,000 customers save a collective £4.8m in just 12 weeks.

The scheme helps customers save gas – without noticing a change in temperature – by turning down their boiler’s flow temperature.

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The firm also offers home consultations for vulnerable customers to help identify support and action that can help reduce bills, as well as a ‘Round the Sun’ digital support service. [links]

Why are energy bills rising?

Ofgem said the increasing energy price cap reflects the continued rise in global wholesale gas prices, which began to surge as the world resurfaced from the Covid pandemic.

However, this has only been driven higher – to record levels – by Russia slowly switching off gas supplies to Europe.

Jonathan Brearley, CEO of Ofgem, said: “The price of energy has reached record levels driven by an aggressive economic act by the Russian state.

“They have slowly and deliberately turned off the gas supplies to Europe causing harm to our households, businesses and wider economy. Ofgem has no choice but to reflect these cost increases in the price cap.”

The price cap is due to rise to £3,549 as of October 1, and it’s forecast to top £4,000 from January 1.

The exact figure the cap will raise for January will be announced on November 24.

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