Earlier this week, the country’s regulator Ofgem confirmed that the energy price cap on gas and electricity bills would drop from £4,279 to £3,280 from April to June 2023. Despite this, typical households are still set to see their energy bills rise by £500 on average due to the Government raising the price guarantee threshold to £3,000 from £2,500.
In light of this, Britons are turning to discounts and concessions to make ends meet, many of which are provided by the Government.
Some people, namely pensioners, could get as much as £775 off their gas and electricity costs if they are entitled to certain support payments.
The energy bill schemes which are available to households at the moment include the following:
- Winter Fuel Payment
- Cold Weather Payment
- Warm Home Discount.
Households eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment must either be born on or before September 25, 1956.
The energy bill payment is worth between £250 and £600 depending on a claimant’s circumstances and includes the Government’s pensioner cost of living payment of £300.
Anyone in receipt of a Winter Fuel Payment will get this support awarded to them automatically into the bank or building society account of their choice.
In comparison, the Cold Weather Payment is given to families who experience a seven-day period of sub-zero temperature in their local area between November 1 and March 31 annually.
It is given to individuals who regularly claim benefit payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Among the qualifying payments for this energy bill support include Pension Credit, Universal Credit and Income Support.
Finally, a £150 concession can be added to a household’s energy bill during the winter months if they are entitled to a Warm Home Discount.
This support scheme is administered to energy suppliers instead of consumers and is reserved for those who get the Guarantee element of Pension who are on low income.
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Andy Kerr, the founder at BOXT, broke down why this list of energy bill support payments and discounts is crucial for households amid other assistance coming to an end.
He explained: “Many people will be struggling with the cost of living and with energy prices at an all-time high, people may be finding themselves unable to pay their energy bills. But there is help.
“The Energy Bills Relief Scheme has provided every household with £400 to cover the cost of energy bills from October to March.
“The scheme has contributed to household spending through six monthly instalments, the last one of which will be received in March.”
The energy expert noted that the pending increase to the price guarantee will be a noticeable change for many homes, but emphasised communication between supplier and customer is key.
Mr Kerr added: “However, starting with April, Brits will be expected to fully cover their energy bills, even with energy prices expected to rise.
“If you are struggling, remember there is help at hand. There are a number of grants and schemes available, with varying eligibility criteria.
“Your supplier should also be able to help you identify any hardship funds or grants you may be eligible for.”
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