Make a Rebate Donation: Here’s What to Do

Thank you to all FT readers who contacted me after my recent article on energy poverty, asking which charities you might consider donating your £400 energy rebate to.

I donated mine to the following three charities that fight fuel poverty.

Fuel Bank Foundation does one thing and one thing only: provide emergency recharge vouchers to people with prepaid meters. We’ve already reported in the FT how more and more people are literally sitting in the dark because they can’t afford to buy credit to power or heat their homes.

The Fuel Bank Foundation has a network of around 400 ‘fuel banks’ (like a food bank, but for energy) across the UK and works with referral partners including food banks, where the trigger for the referral is families requesting a “cold compress” (food that does not need to be cooked).

The charity is experiencing record demand at the moment, even during the summer. It also helps people using its services to access other benefits and forms of help, such as directing them to debt advice. Find out more on its website.

National Energy Action is one of the UK’s largest fuel poverty charities and is supported by, among others, Martin Lewis. It conducts research, supports those in need and campaigns on the plight of around one in three UK households who will be pushed into fuel poverty by October.

CAPUK (Christians Against Poverty) is one of the largest providers of free debt advice in the UK and also distributes energy recharge vouchers to people in need – and much more. It doesn’t just help Christians.

And please don’t forget your local food bank. Many are running out of donations as more families feel the pinch, but demand is growing. Check your local bank’s website to see what product donations (including personal care items) they really need. You can also donate money or volunteer.

The Big Issue reported last week that one of south London’s biggest food banks was facing closure because it could no longer afford to pay the £500 weekly energy bill to run its fridges.

Finally, many astute FT Money readers have pointed out that UK taxpayers can make charitable donations using Gift Aid, supplementing the £400 energy rebate given to £500 in one fell swoop. A very good point – and thanks to everyone who made it.

Tell others about the campaign to donate the discount – using the hashtag #donatetherebate on social media – and if you would like to contact me about it, please contact me by emailing

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