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Donate the rebate: Here’s what to do 

Thank you to all of the FT readers who contacted me after my recent piece on fuel poverty, asking which charities you could consider donating your £400 energy rebate to.

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

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

Fuel Bank Foundation has a network of about 400 “fuel banks” (like a food bank, but for energy) around the UK and works with referral partners including food banks, where the trigger for referral is families asking for a “cold pack” (food which doesn’t have to be cooked).

The charity is experiencing record demand right now, even over summer. It also helps people using its services to access other benefits and forms of help, such as referring them to debt advice. Find out more on its website.

National Energy Action is one of the biggest UK fuel poverty charities, and is supported by Martin Lewis, among others. It conducts research, supports those in need and campaigns about the plight of the estimated one in three UK households who will be dragged into fuel poverty by October.

CAPUK (Christians Against Poverty) is one of the UK’s biggest providers of free debt advice, and also distributes energy top-up vouchers to people in need — and much more. It doesn’t only 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 rising. Check your local bank’s website to see what donations of products (including personal care items) they really need. You could also give cash, or volunteer your time.

The Big Issue reported last week that one of the biggest food banks in south London is under threat of closure because it can no longer afford to pay the weekly energy bill of £500 to run its fridges.

Finally, many astute FT Money readers pointed out that UK taxpayers could make charitable donations using Gift Aid, thus topping up the donated £400 energy rebate to £500 at a stroke. A very good point — and thanks to all of those who made it.

Do tell others about the campaign to donate the rebate — using the hashtag #donatetherebate on social media — and if you would like to contact me about this topic, please get in touch by emailing

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