Donate the discount: here’s what to do

Thank you to all FT readers who reached out to me after my recent piece on fuel poverty, asking which charities you might consider donating your £400 energy discount.

I’ve donated mine to the following three charities committed to fighting fuel poverty.

Fuel Bank Foundation does only one thing: provide emergency top-up vouchers to people with prepayment meters. We previously reported in the FT how more and more people are literally left in the dark because they can’t afford to buy credit to power or heat their homes.

Fuel Bank Foundation has a network of around 400 “fuel banks” (like a food bank, but for energy) in the UK and works with referral partners, including food banks, where the trigger for referral is families requesting a “cold pack” (food that does not require cooking).

The charity is currently experiencing record demand, even in the summer. It also helps people who use its services to access other benefits and forms of assistance, such as referral to debt counseling. Read more on his website.

National energy campaign is one of the largest fuel poverty charities in the UK and is supported, among others, by Martin Lewis. It conducts research, supports those in need and campaigns about the plight of an estimated one in three British households who will find themselves in fuel poverty by October. https://www.nea.org.uk/

CAPUK (Christians against poverty) is one of the largest providers of free debt advice in the UK and also distributes energy top-up vouchers to those in need – and much more. It doesn’t just help Christians. https://capuk.org/

And please don’t forget your local food bank. Many are running out of donations as more families are feeling anxious, but demand is rising. Check your local bank’s website to see what donations of products (including personal care items) they really need. You can also give money, or use your time voluntarily.

The Big Issue reported last week that one of South London’s largest food banks is under threat of closure because it can no longer afford to pay its £500 weekly utility bill to run its fridges.

Finally, many savvy FT Money readers pointed out that UK taxpayers can make charitable donations using Gift Aid, increasing the donated energy rebate from £400 to £500 in one fell swoop. Very good point – and thank you to everyone who made it .

Please tell others about the campaign to donate the discount — use the hashtag #donattherebate on social media — and if you’d like to contact me about this topic, please contact me by emailing money@ft. com

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