What support can I get to meet my energy costs?
With the cost of annual energy bills continuing to rise, consumers will be increasingly looking for ways to reduce their energy costs – and this could include anything from minimising their energy usage to taking advantage of government grants and any other support which is available to them.
Here are just a few resources that consumers can draw on to help with their energy costs on an ongoing basis:
Warm Home Discount Scheme
The warm home scheme offers a rebate on electricity bills for qualifying pensioners, which currently equates to £135 off your electricity bill for winter 2013 -2014.
The scheme is run by energy suppliers, who are legally obliged to offer the rebate, and will run each winter until 2014/15.
If you are a pensioner as of 20 July 2013, you are eligible for the 2013 and 2014 scheme if the following conditions apply:
You are aged over 75 and receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit. This even applies if you also get the Savings Credit part.
You are aged under 75 and receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit; but don’t receive the Savings Credit part.
Winter Fuel Payments
If you were born on or before 5 July 1951 you could receive a tax-free sum of between £100 and £300 pounds to help with the cost of your energy bills, whether that’s for gas, electricity or heating oil.
This Winter Fuel Payment is paid automatically in November and December, and your payment should be received by Christmas.
You may also qualify for a winter fuel payment if you live in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
Cold Weather Payment
The 2013 to 2014 Cold Weather scheme begins in November 2013 and for every 7-day period of cold weather, stretching from 1 November and 31 March, it offers a payment of £25.
The payment is normally available to households in receipt of benefits including Universal Credit, Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.