Octo Assist: Bill grants and help schemes for those worrying about bills
Energy prices are devastating at the moment. Even with the government’s extensive support, we know many people will struggle with their bills this Winter. Here’s what we’re doing to help.
Octo Assist is a £15 million customer help fund and a collection of support schemes designed to give extra help to customers most in need.
Different types of support from the Octo Assist fund
How do I apply?
Get financial help from Octo Assist
If you're an Octopus customer, fill out our quick and simple online tool to get things started. It'll ask you some questions about your financial situation, and based on that we may offer you help from a number of support options including direct bill grants and standing charge holidays based on circumstances and need.
Energy saving support
What if I’m not eligible to receive help from Octo Assist?
Our support is designed to target those in the greatest need. The families who struggled to afford the bills even before the energy crisis, and those whose health and safety relies on heat and power. That means Octo Assist sadly won’t be able to give absolutely everyone extra help.
We’re always here to talk to you about your individual circumstances, and suggest different ways we can help.
The government’s support goes a long way for the majority of homes. Thanks to the Energy Price Guarantee capping energy unit rates, most will save an average of £1,000 vs what their bills would’ve been over the next year. The Energy Bills Support Scheme gives every home another £400 on top.
And here’s some extra things we’re doing that aren’t limited to the most vulnerable:
Energy saving challenges
What else can I do?
- Buy an electric blanket. These cost from £40, but could save you £300 a year, or even more.
- You don't need a thermal camera – test for draughts around your house using the back of your hand and put some of our heat loss-busting tips into practice.
- Pay by Direct Debit – the rates work out around £80 cheaper than not paying by DD, because it costs us a lot less in admin. It’s easy to set up a Direct Debit online.
- You can always get in touch for personalised account help – anything from talking to you about different ways to pay, organising payment holidays or long term payment plans, or returning credit.
Why did we start the Octo Assist fund?
This energy crisis is bigger than all of us. Like everyone else in the UK, we’re incredibly worried by the high prices.
We’ve never made a profit as a business, because from day one, our goal has been to pass the fairest possible prices on to our customers. But where our cost to buy a years’ worth of energy for customers would usually be around £1 billion, it's now more like £9 billion.
We’ve absorbed what we can of that — spending £150 million from our own reserves to keep high energy costs off bills, and more recently, another £40 million to keep standing charges lower. But as much as we’d like to, we just can’t absorb all of the energy crisis, which is why the government’s support was so desperately needed, and so welcome.
It’s also why we think the best way we can help is by pumping additional efforts and resources into specific schemes designed to support our very most vulnerable customers – so we created Octo Assist, initially with £2.5 million funding, quickly doubled to £5 million, then £7.5 million and now £15 million as the crisis has gone on.
We'll keep doing absolutely everything we can to help customers through the crisis. If you need help, please, please talk to us.
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