Up to 12million households could face fuel poverty as the energy cap is set to rise yet again to £2,800, over double from where it was at the previous year
With millions of families struggling to pay their energy bills and further rises expected, many are left looking wherever they can for help.
Thankfully there are some options available to worried bill payers from tax rebates to one of payments during colder weather.
The Ofgem chief Jonathan Brearley today warned MPs the energy price cap could arise from the current £1,971 to an eye watering £2,800 in October.
Mr Brearley told MPs “we need the Government to step in…broadly this is only something government can address”.
He added: “I know this is a very distressing time for customers but I do need to be clear with this committee, with customers and with the Government about the likely price implications for October.
Press Association Images)
“Therefore later today I will be writing to the Chancellor to give him our latest estimates of the price cap uplift.
Instead of waiting for the Government to come through there are other options families can take.
Many taxpayers will be able to claim a rebate from their council.
Anyone who pays council tax and who’s home is in council tax band A to D will receive a £150 rebate.
This should happen automatically but if you haven’t heard from the council you should contact them directly before September 30, 2022.
If you pay your tax via direct debit your council should pay your one-off £150 rebate directly into your bank account.
If you pay another way your council should contact you directly and likely will ask you to fill out an online form.
Winter Fuel Payment
This is an annual one-off payment to help heat your home during winter.
You can usually get one if you were born on or before September 26, 1955, and those eligible will receive between £100 and £300.
Further details on this kind of support can be found here.
Cold Weather Payment
This is a one off payment given to certain households when the temperatures drop dangerously low during the winter period.
Those eligible get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold.
You’ll be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you already get any of the following:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
If you’re eligible, you should be paid the extra money automatically.
Warm Home Discount
This one-off discount is available to households on a low income or claim pension credit.
Rather than a direct payment, £140 is taken off your bills between October and March.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme for 2021 to 2022 has now closed, and the 2022 to 2023 scheme will open later in the year.
To check your eligibility you must contact your supplier.
Grant from your supplier
Some energy suppliers might be able to offer a grant to help pay off any debt you may have to them.
The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:
If you are not supplied by these companies, you can apply for a grant through the British Gas Energy Trust.
Local Energy Grant
Local grants may be available in your area.
Simple Energy Advice has a tool on its website to help you find the,
Grants from charities
Some charities offer grants. Details on how to apply can be found at Let’s Talk.
Turn2Us has grants search and adviser locator tools.
These can be used to top up your gas card or electricity key.
Your local council may be able to help you apply.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.