I’m a granny – I got a free electric blanket worth £90 from my energy supplier, how you can get one too

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GRANNY-OF-THREE Joyce Burke had no idea she was eligible for a free electric blanket from her energy supplier.

And if it weren’t for her daughter’s advice telling her to check, the 75-year-old pensioner would never have realised.

Joyce Burke, 75 from Cramlington, Northumberland with her dog Coco got a free electric blanket worth £90 from her energy supplier

It took Joyce from Cramlington, Northumbria less than five minutes to apply for the freebie and the package hit her doorstep within a matter of days.

Joyce said: “I can just about manage to pay my energy bills with my weekly pension and pension credit top-up but the blanket is brilliant as I don’t need to flick on the heating as much.”

“Me and my dog Coco can’t live without it now.”

Electric blankets can be a cheaper way of keeping warm instead of relying on central heating and they cost just 3p per hour on average to run.

They can usually cost anything from £30 all the way up to £100.

Joyce who lives on her own pays around £100 a month on her gas and electricity – even though she’s £200 in credit and on a cheap fix.

Her fixed tariff is due to end in March and Joyce is well aware that her bills will shoot up even further when she’s moved onto the standard variable tariff.

She said: “Michelle, my daughter, said it’s probably worth checking to see if I’m eligible for one of my supplier’s free blankets – especially as my bills will rise significantly in March.

“So I phoned up Octopus Energy and straight after they sent me an online form which took less than five minutes to fill in.

“I couldn’t believe that only a few days later a parcel arrived on my doorstep with the free blanket – it’s absolutely brilliant.”

It turned out that Joyce’s claim for pension credit meant that she was eligible for the freebie.

Low-income retirees can get more than £3,500 a year to support everyday costs through pension credit.

And over 850,000 households are eligible for pension credit but aren’t claiming it.

The free gadget that Joyce took delivery of usually costs £89.99 on Amazon and it costs just pennies to run.

Joyce is one of the 40,000 Octopus Energy customers to receive the free help and the scheme is still accepting new applications.

Ovo Energy also runs a similar scheme which offers hard-up customers a free heated blanket or smart thermostat.

How can I apply for a free electric blanket?

Octopus Energy sets no formal eligibility criteria.

But the supplier has said that the blankets will only be available to people who will benefit from them most.

This includes elderly people, or those with specific medical conditions which make them immobile, very unwell, or feel cold.

To check if you are eligible for help, call the Octopus Energy helpline on 0808 164 1088.

You can also access the support by filling in a short form on the Octopus Energy website.

Ovo Energy customers can apply for free electric throws and smart thermostats online or via the supplier’s app.

Customers will need to fill out a form answering questions about their income and medical needs.

You will need to provide details like your name, account number, address, and date of birth.

You’ll also need to state your annual household income, your monthly disposable income, medical needs, how many people you live with and if you receive any benefits.

The form will also ask how you pay for your energy and how you heat your home.

Each of these things will be taken into account when allocating the package.

You can get up to two electric blankets and one smart thermostat per household.

What other help is available from energy suppliers?

The biggest energy suppliers are offering hard-up customers free cash and debt help worth up to £1,500.

Here’s a full list of the energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling:

  • British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Family Fund
  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • E.ON and E.ON Next Grants
  • Octopus Energy Assist Fund
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power Hardship Fund

There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment meter.