With the record rise in energy prices over the past year and the rise in October, we look at what help is available. This is what is available as of 17 October 2022.
Energy Price Guarantee
The government has capped the rate at which suppliers can charge for energy until April 2023. For gas this is 10.3p per kWh and for electricity 34p per kWh. The guarantee does not mean you’ll only pay a maximum of £2,500. This figure refers to what a typical household using 242 kWh of electricity and 1,000 kWh of gas a month would pay. If you use more than this, you will pay more.
£400 Energy Bill Discount.
Who gets it? Everyone
How do I get it? You don’t need to do anything your energy supplier will automatically apply it to your bills.
When will I get it? The £400 will be paid over 6 months, to ensure you get support over the winter period. In October and November you will get £66 and in December, January, February and March you will get £67. How you will receive the discount will depend on how you pay for your energy, Direct Debit customers will see a reduction in their monthly Direct Debit or as a refund to their bank account. If you pay your bill each month or use a payment card, the discount will be applied to your account just as if you’d made a payment. If you have a pre-payment meter, you will either get the discount credited directly to your meter or receive it as a voucher. Your energy supplier will let you know which applies to you.
I live off-grid, will I get any support? The government has committed itself to providing the equivalent of the £400 discount to households who don’t have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an electricity supplier, details of this scheme will be announced in the Autumn.
£300 (per household) Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
Who gets it? People aged 66 or over between 19 and 25 September 2022. There are some exceptions, and you should check https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment/eligibility.
How do I get it? You don’t need to do anything. You will receive £300 on top of your winter fuel payment.
When will I get it? November or December, it will be paid by Direct Debit into the account you normally get your winter fuel payment into.
£650 — Cost of Living Payment
Who gets it? Anyone in receipt of the following means-tested benefits, Universal Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit. However, eligibility depends on when you were awarded your benefit, so you should check at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment to ensure you are eligible
How do I get it? You don’t need to do anything, it will be paid automatically into the account that your qualifying benefit is paid into. However, if you think you should have received payment and haven’t, you can report it by visiting https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/report-a-missing-cost-of-living-payment/welcome
When will I get it? It depends on what benefit you are on. Most people should have received their first payment of £326 between 14 and 31 July 2022. If you receive tax credit, you will receive your first payment of £326 between the 2 and 7 of September. A further payment of £324 will be made in the Autumn (or Winter 2022 for tax credit recipients) The actual dates have not been announced yet.
£150 — Disability Cost of Living Payment
Who gets it? Anyone in receipt of a non-means tested disability payment such as Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment and War Pension Mobility Supplement. Eligibility depends on when you were awarded your benefit
How do I get it? You don’t need to do anything, it will be automatically paid into the account that you receive your benefit payments. If you are in receipt of a disability benefit from both the DWP and MOD, you will only get a payment from the DWP.
When will I get it? You should receive the payment from the 20 September, most people should receive their payment by the beginning of October.
Other help you can get
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills it is important that you talk to your energy provider. They will be able to help you come up with a payment plan and may also have schemes that can help you.
Priority Services Register
The priority services register allows utility companies to identify customers who are vulnerable either through age, illness or disability. By signing up to the priority services register, you can get additional support in the event of service disruptions, such as advance notification of power cuts and extra support whilst the supply is disrupted. Other help includes a password scheme to help you identify callers, the ability to nominate someone else you trust to receive communications from your supplier, help with moving a prepayment meter if you can’t get to it to top up, and regular meter readings if you’re unable to read your meter. For more information on the priority services register, contact your supplier — you only need to register once, and you don’t need to register for each utility
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