Below are the case studies of two very different people who have both benefited in different ways from the fuel project, with the help of a specially trained fuel debt advisor. Names have been removed to protect the anonymity of the clients involved. All acronyms are listed at the end of the document.
Case 1 (Mr A)
Mr A is single and living in a mortgaged property and is in full time employment. He was referred to the fuel debt project after he had sought advice from elsewhere in regard to his electricity account with British Gas.
Mr A started to get into debt with the electricity account three years ago after he took a demotion and pay decrease due to suffering from depression linked to stress and a relationship breakdown. His lower wages caused him to struggle to maintain payments on the bills.
After discussing the options with Mr A it was decided that a payment plan would be put into place which he would pay each month via telephone. A application would be made to the BGET as he is working towards a more balanced budget.
The application was successful and Mr A was awarded £1031.00 towards the electricity account. This has helped to ease his current financial difficulties and has reduced the amount of stress experienced.
Case 2 (Mrs B)
Mrs B is single and lives in a housing association property with her two children, she is currently in receipt of a range of disability and other benefits.
Mrs B has got debts with British Gas for electricity from a previous address. This was caused due to the property having insufficient heating and was having to use storage heaters at the property, which used a lot of electricity.
After nearly 11 months of living there British Gas issued Mrs B with correct meter readings and she received a bill for £1800. She was paying for her usage via direct debit but it became apparent that this was not covering the usage, so British Gas wanted to increase the payments to £250pm.
Mrs B was not in a financial position to be able to pay this so she cancelled the direct debit. Mrs B later agreed to have prepayment meters fitted at the property and to repay the debt at a rate of £10.00pw.
Soon after this Mrs B vacated the property after securing accommodation with a housing association. She is still a British Gas customer and is paying for her usage at present via prepayment meters. The debts from the previous property were not transferred them.
Through BGET Mrs B received energy efficiency advice to try and lower her future energy consumption and an award of £2689.44 towards the arrears in her British Gas electric account.
BGET - British Gas Energy Trust