As the cost of energy soars, homeowners alike are struggling to combat the rise in energy costs. But what support is out there currently? We look at some government initiatives available to help you combat energy cost inflation.
Here’s a breakdown of what support is available to you in these challenging times:
Receive a one-off payment from the government
Starting from October 2022, the government will give all households in Great Britain £400 off of their energy bill.
It’s called the “Energy Bills Support Scheme”.
You don’t need to do anything to receive the money; the £400 will be added to your energy account directly.
However, if you have a prepaid meter, you will either have £400 added directly to your meter or receive £400 in energy vouchers. The government will confirm how you will receive the payment closer to the time.
Receive money if you pay your council tax
You can get a £150 rebate to go towards paying your energy bills if you pay council tax and your council tax band is between bands A and D.
Check your council tax band here. Only one person per household can receive the rebate.
You will also qualify for the rebate even if you:
- Get council tax reduction – including a full reduction, and your council tax band is in bands A to D.
- Or, if you have a biometric residence permit that states “no recourse to public funds,” – you will still receive the rebate if you’re located within bands A to D.
If you receive benefits, the rebate will not affect them.
How do you get the rebate?
If you have a direct debit set up to pay your council tax, your council should pay it to you automatically. Local councils began paying rebates directly to households in April 2022, so you may have already received the rebate.
However, if you don’t have a direct debit set up, you must contact your local council and fill in an online form – they will reach out to you and make the payment as soon as possible.
This scheme expires on 30th September 2022. Make sure you get in touch immediately if you haven’t yet received your payment; you can find your local council here.
Note: If you don’t qualify for the rebate, it’s worth reaching out to your local council to see if you can get any additional financial help from them.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a £150 off of your energy bill, or if you’re on a prepayment meter, it can be added directly.
You will receive a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirming the process later in 2022.
Are you eligible for a fuel voucher?
A fuel voucher is a voucher to help you pay for energy on a prepayment meter. You receive it as a code in an email, text or letter. You use the code to as credit to your energy key.
You may be eligible if:
- You use a prepayment meter.
- Or, you do not use gas or electricity for your heating:
- You rely on oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal or wood as your main heating source.
- You are not on the gas grid.
You will need to enquire with your local council.
Where can you use a fuel voucher?
- Shops signed up to PayPoint
- The Post Office
- Shops signed up to Payzone
To claim it, you will need:
- To bring the code and instructions
- ID – passport and a bill with your name and address
Note: You must use your fuel voucher within three months after you get it.
Here are some grants to help pay off your energy debts:
If you are struggling to pay your debt to energy suppliers, there is help out there to manage these debts. These suppliers directly offer help to their customers. Here’s a breakdown of the grants available to you as a customer:
If your supplier doesn’t offer a grant, or you are not eligible for a grant, British Gas offers support from their British Gas Energy Trust. It’s worth contacting them to see if anything is available to you.
Here is how to find local energy grants
If you’re looking for which local energy grants are available to you, you can use the search functionality here at the Simple Energy Advice site.
Also, it’s worth checking out your local council via the GOV.UK search function to find available energy grants.
The Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born prior to 26 September 1955, you are usually eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment. It’s an annual payment to help manage the costs of heating over the winter months.
For 2022, you will also receive an additional £400 with your standard Winter Fuel Payment. You will be paid either in November or December.
When you reach the state pension age, you will automatically get the Winter Fuel Payment, but in rare circumstances, you may need to apply. You can apply by completing this Winter Fuel Payment application.
Currently, you cannot switch your home energy tariffs due to unprecedented volatility in the energy market.
To keep up to date with the movements in the energy market, follow our wholesale energy market reports.