Chief Executive, National Energy Action
The energy crisis currently gripping the UK has pushed millions of house-holds into fuel poverty. Energy support is available; people need to know how to access it.
Just 18 months ago, the average annual energy bill in the UK was £1,277, it is now £2,500. The consequences have been catastrophic. Come April, when vital government support is reduced, there will be 7.5 million UK households in fuel poverty. That’s tens of millions of people living in cold, damp homes and falling into deep debt — all because they cannot afford their energy bills.
Check if you are eligible for energy support benefits
It’s essential that those struggling know what support is available and how to access it. National Energy Action — the fuel poverty charity — has information to maximise your ability to pay your energy bills.
It’s important to check your eligibility for benefits because being on certain benefits allows you to access more and maximise your income. Take advice from your local Citizens Advice, or visit gov.uk/browse/benefits.
From October 2022 to March 2023, every household should have received around £66 off their energy bill every month, totalling £400 over the six months.
Types of support payments available
From October 2022 to March 2023, every household should have received around £66 off their energy bill every month, totalling £400 over the six months. This either happened automatically if you pay by direct debit or through a voucher if you are on an old-style prepayment meter. If you haven’t received any, then contact your supplier.
There will be new cost of living support payments for some households over the next 12 months, including three cost of living payments for over 8 million eligible means-tested benefits claimants, including those on Universal Credit, Pension Credit and tax credits:
• £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – During spring 2023
• £150 – Disability Payment – During summer 2023
• £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – During autumn 2023
• £300 – Pensioner Payment – During winter 2023/24
• £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – During spring 2024
Tell your supplier if you are struggling
If you are struggling with the cost of your energy bills, your supplier is obligated to help you work out a manageable payment solution, so you need to inform them. There is also the Priority Services Register — a list of vulnerable customers who can be entitled to extra help. Contact your supplier to see if you are eligible to be included.