#DonateTheRebate campaign urges those more well off to donate their £400 energy grant
Don’t really need the £400 energy bill discount? ‘Donate the Rebate’ to support families on the lowest incomes
by: Marcus Wratten
31 May 2022
Image: HM Treasury
People in financially secure households are being urged to ‘donate the rebate’, by giving away the £400 energy bill grant they’ll receive as part of Rishi Sunak’s cost of living crisis support package.
In measures announced last week, the chancellor said that the previously announced £200 loan to help people with the rise in energy costs would increase to £400, and would now be non-repayable.
The grant is not means-tested, meaning it is available to everyone across the country regardless of their financial situation. This includes owners of multiple properties, who will be eligible to receive a grant for each house they own.
Crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder has now launched the ‘Donate The Rebate’ campaign, encouraging those who are able to donate their £400 to one of several charities supporting people facing destitution through the crisis.
Which charities are included?
The charities listed as part of the campaign include National Energy Action, which campaigns to end fuel poverty across the UK, and Turn2us, which supports people in poverty to access welfare benefits and charitable grants.
Tracey Molineux, who heads up supporter engagement at Turn2us, said that the government’s one-off £400 grant would not be enough to sustain families on the lowest incomes.
“Every day, our helpline advisers hear from parents who are skipping meals to keep their children fed, or who are left sitting in the dark to save on energy costs,” she said.
“The government support is not a long-term solution and millions of families are still facing impossible choices between paying increasing food bills or keeping a roof over their heads.
“When you support Turn2us via Crowdfunder, your help offers vital financial support to families on the lowest incomes through our grants making programme and practical advice through our helpline – as well as campaigning for lasting policy change to prevent families from having to make these choices in future.”
Peter Smith, the director of policy and advocacy at National Energy Action, also welcomed the scheme and the potential impact it could have on low income families.
“There will be households who receive this vital support who may not need it as much as other low-income and vulnerable households who may still struggle this winter, especially the poorest households who don’t currently claim the benefits they may be entitled to,” Smith said.
“If you don’t need the rebate and can keep your home comfortably warm, then please consider donating some or all of it to help those struggling.”
Food bank charity The Trussell Trust is also supported by the campaign, while Fareshare, a charity working to redistribute food waste, will also soon be included in the list of charities to donate to.
How can I donate my rebate to charity?
Anyone wishing to donate the rebate can give either the full £400 offered by the government, or choose to select their own donation amount.
As the energy grant is set to be paid in the autumn of this year, Crowdfunder has also added the option for people to pledge their energy rebate at a later date.
Those giving away their energy rebate are encouraged to share their decision on social media using the #DonateTheRebate hashtag, with the aim of galvanising others into doing the same.
Speaking to website Need To Know about his decision to start the campaign, Crowdfunder CEO Rob Love said that many people across the UK won’t need the £400 grant.
“For some, this rebate is a welcome income to help tackle the costs of living, which are going through the roof,” he said. “But for others, who are more financially secure, this is a nice bonus that they may not need.
“To put it plainly, if you’re a millionaire or super rich – as the chancellor himself is – you don’t need this money.
“I know it’s difficult for the Government to roll this out on a means-tested basis in a short timeframe, which is where we’re hoping to step in.
“I’m asking anyone who wants to donate their money and who doesn’t need it to please join the #DonateTheRebate campaign to help those who are in dire situations.
“People shouldn’t have to choose between feeding their children or themselves, or whether or not to turn on the heating this winter.”
The campaign has been praised on social media, with radio presenter James O’Brien calling it an “excellent initiative”.
O’Brien spoke about the campaign on his LBC radio show with Lord Jim O’Neill, who said it would provide an opportunity to provide additional help to those most in need.
“I think it’s a really cool idea and I’m sure for well-minded people who do feel as though they didn’t need this [grant], it’s a great opportunity to help even more those that are in the greatest needed,” he said. “Because we are living through a time where the challenges for the lowest income people are really quite remarkable.”
Urgent action is needed to prevent even more people being pushed into homelessness. A secure home is the first step in addressing the cruel cycle of poverty to ensure people can fulfil their potential. Join us to keep people in their homes.