If you find you're struggling to pay your energy bills, there's plenty of help out there — from government grants to supplier support. Uswitch has identified five key sources of support for you.
If you receive pension credit or one of a number of other benefits, you could be eligible for the government's Warm Home Discount. This scheme is a one-off £140 rebate on the cost of your electricity bill.
If you're eligible and your supplier offers the scheme, you'll usually receive the discount automatically between October and March, however, this depends on if you are in the “Core group” or “broader group” if you are in the “broader group” you will need to apply directly to your supplier - to find out more and which group you might be in here is some more information: Warm Home Discount.
The Winter Fuel Payment is a payment from the government to help the elderly pay for their energy over the winter months. While most people are enrolled automatically you should still check if you’re not sure whether you qualify.
If you are aged 60 or over, you may qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment of up to £300, to help you meet the costs of keeping warm in the winter. Here is a link with more information: Winter Fuel Payment
The Cold Weather Payment is similar to the Winter Fuel Payment, but only rarely comes into force.
The Cold Weather Payment is a £25 payment for each week that the temperature drops below zero Celsius for seven consecutive days.
The payment is only available for cold weather snaps that occur between 1 November and 31 March, and households must qualify, here is more information: The Cold Weather Payment.
While this new government scheme won't directly help you to pay your bills, it could help you pay for energy efficiency measures to reduce your bills in the long run.
Opening for applications at the end of September 2020, the Green Homes Grant will pay for up to 100 per cent of the cost of installing energy efficiency measures in homes across England, here is a link with further information: The Green Homes Grant.
Aside from government schemes, many energy suppliers also offer tailored help to customers who may be struggling with their bills.
From debt repayment plans to energy efficiency schemes, each supplier offers different ways they can help you manage your energy costs.
Even if you're not eligible for help with your energy bills, there's another way you could save. Switching to a cheaper energy deal could cut your energy bills by an average of £387 per year. According to Uswitch, you could save an average of £387: between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020, people who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity with Uswitch saved an average of £387.
If you've never switched energy suppliers, you're more likely to be on an expensive standard energy plan or uncompetitive prepayment meter plan — meaning you have the potential to save the most by switching.
It's worth pointing out that even if you owe your energy supplier or you are renting your property, you still have the right to switch in order to save money.
Personal finance experts at money.co.uk, part of the same group as Uswitch, have shared some money saving tips on subjects from budgeting to finding the right savings solution.
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Uswitch is a comparison website for home services switching. It says it has saved consumers £2.5 billion on their energy bills since launching in September 2000 and helps people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile, TV and financial services products.
If you would like some help deciding which provider is best for you, call Uswitch on 0800 014 29 20.