Cost of Living Help and Advice

Cost of living help and guidance

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21/09/2022

Advice on the Cost of Fuel

Thermostat

We are all feeling the pinch as the fuel crisis escalates.  However, there are some things that you can do right now that might help alleviate some of the pressure. The government has a number of different schemes that you can apply for, depending on your personal circumstances, and there are people out there that you can  speak to if you need help wading through the information.

You can also get help through the Household Support Fund. If you are struggling to afford food, utility bills or other essentials then you can apply for help from the fund, click on the bar below to find out more.

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Citizens Advice

The Citizens Advice (0808 278 7948) can also provide detailed energy advice to reduce your costs, check which Government schemes you qualify for, help you with billing issues with your supplier, and provide support if you are struggling to top up a prepayment meter.

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Many other local organisations are also able to provide support and advice for people facing fuel poverty, these include, LEAP (0800 060 7567) and South Dartmoor Energy (0800 112 3044).

Energy matters, financial support and support for your home

Latest on the Energy price guarantee

Relief Scheme

On 8 September 2022 the government announced the Energy Price Guarantee.

The package provides support to consumers with the spiralling cost of energy bills. This will reduce a domestic consumer’s bill to an average cost of £2,500 and will remain in place for 2 years. The Energy Price Guarantee will start on 1 October 2022 and effectively replaces the Energy Price Cap.

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Energy Bills Support Scheme

Money

The government is providing extra support with energy bills over the winter months through the Energy Bills Support Scheme. All households with a domestic electricity connection in Great Britain are eligible for the £400 discount.

There is no need to apply; energy suppliers will pay the grant over six months. However, it is important that you have an account with your supplier and they have your correct contact details, particularly if you are on traditional prepay meters.  Payments start from October 2022, to ensure households receive financial support.

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Cold Weather Payments

ICE

The Government are also providing £25 extra a week if you’re getting certain benefits during the winter when the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days.

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Winter Fuel payments

Open Fire

In the winter months, pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel payment. Tel: 0800 731 0160.

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Warm Home Discount

Electricity

This autumn nearly three million low-income households are also eligible for a £150 rebate on their winter electricity bills. Call 0800 731 0214.

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Energy Providers

Energy Providers

If you're in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant from a charitable trust to help pay it off.

When you apply for a grant, you'll have to provide detailed information about your financial situation in your application. It could take a while to complete, and it might be worth getting help from a friend or family member. You can also talk to an advisor for help to fill in forms.

Charitable trusts like you to show that you have received debt advice before you apply. Debt advice can help you manage your debts and increase your chances of making a successful application. - Contact Citizens Advice Energy Advice Line South Hams. Tel: 01803 659733.

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Vulnerable clients moved to prepayment meters

Citizens Advice

There have been reports of energy suppliers moving vulnerable clients onto prepayments meters.

However, energy suppliers can’t make      you do this if it wouldn’t be safe or practical.

You  can refuse to move to prepayment if you have an illness or disability which means you would be harmed if your gas or electricity was cut off. You can also refuse if you wouldn't be able to get to or use your meter.

More information on stopping a supplier moving you to prepayment can be found on the Citizens Advice website.

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South Hams District Council, Citizens Advice and the Tindle Newspaper are working together to bring you information and advice about the cost of living crisis through your local newspaper.

This is so we can all play our part in helping our friends and neighbours who may not have access to digital information.  Please do direct them to the local paper for the latest information, share this bulletin or direct people to Citizen's advice.

Thank you for your help, as we all pull together to support our communities.

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All of this information and more can be found on the South Hams District Council’s website

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Posted in SHDC.