ENERGY bills will be frozen for the next two years giving much-needed relief to households facing a huge jump in costs this winter.
Many could still be entitled to a raft of cash support worththousands of pounds on top of the latest help with bills.
The amount of financial help you'll be eligible for depends on your circumstances – but every household will get a discount on their energy bills.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, it is best to first call up your supplier to discuss your options as you may be entitled to a cash grant.
Bills were originally set to rise from £1,971 to £3,549 this winter.
However, bills for the typical household will now be capped at £2,500 the government has announced.
READ MORE IN MONEY
PM announces energy price cap that will save money for millions of families
Millions of households to still get £400 energy rebate direct into bank accounts
This will be called the Energy Price Guarantee and will apply from October 1.
The package of measures announced by new Prime Minister Liz Truss includes:
- A two year price freeze on bills, saving households £1,000
- Support for businesses for at least six months
- Households will still get the £400 rebate on bills this winter
- Millions excluded by the price cap to get support from a new fund
The energy price cap is set by the regulator Ofgem but the government has now intervened to limit the rise.
The price cap limits the unit price households on typical dual fuel tariffs pay, and bills can still be higher or lower depending on usage.
Most read in Money
Liz Truss to make energy announcement to help struggling Brits with bills
Liz Truss to freeze energy cap at £2,500 for four months… but no windfall tax
McDonald’s adds five items to menu TODAY – including spicy nuggets
Millions of British Gas customers to get £400 rebate direct into bank accounts
The new Energy Price Guarantee will work in the same way, and the typical bill will be limited to £2,500.
So if you use more energy than the typical households you should expect to pay more, and if you use less your bill could be lower.
Around 25.5million households are on a standard variable tariff where the price cap applies.
There's fresh hope for millions on fixed deals who may have locked in a price in the expectation that bills would rise by more than that.
Exact details of the scheme are yet to be announced and the government has said that it's in talks with suppliers about offering a discount.
And millions using heating oil, live in park homes or are in properties on heating networks who are excluded form the price cap have been promised support.
Millions of households across the country are still set to receive thousands of pounds in energy bill support over the next four months on top of the freeze – and could claim extra help if they are struggling.
With payments worth between £150 and £324, and grants worth £1,500, those on the lowest incomes and facing financial hardship can get the most help.
Millions of households on Universal Credit and legacy benefits will have already received the first half of the £650 cost of living payment.
The energy bill support on offer was first announced by former chancellor Rishi Sunak back in May.
Here we explain the financial support on offer to households right now.
We also explain how customers can get extra support from their energy supplier with grant payment worth up to £1,500
You can also follow our live cost of living blog for the latest updates.
Energy bills rebate payments begin – worth £400
From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
We've listed how the leading energy suppliers plan to pay households.
British Gas, EDF Energy and Ovo Energy plans to send the cash directly into customer bank accounts.
The way you'll be paid will depend on how you pay for your energy.
If you're on a credit meter or smart prepayment meter the discount will come off your bills or be credited to your account automatically.
Those on traditional prepayment meters will receive the discount through a voucher.
Check with your supplier to confirm how you'll receive the cash.
Cost of living payment for those on tax credits – worth £324
Millions of households have been paid the first part of their £650 cost of living payment.
Around eight million payments have already been made to help hard-up households to help them pay for spiralling bills and essentials.
Those on the following benefits are eligible for the second payment worth £324:
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
The second payment will be paid in autumn.
However, the government has yet to confirm the exact date when payment are set to begin.
The cash will automatically land into the bank account that people use to receive their benefits.
The exact dates for when you have to make a successful claim by in order to be eligible also hasn't been confirmed.
Pensioner cost of living payment – worth £300
In November, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
To qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment and Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, the following must apply:
- You were born on or before 25 September 1956
- You lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
Cost of living disability payment – worth £150
Over six million people with disabilities are set to receive £150 from Tuesday, September 20.
This payment is to help those with disabilities pay for any energy intensive equipment they might have.
The payment will be made directly into their bank account and households won't need to apply.
It won't have any impact on existing benefit awards either.
You can get the cash if you claim one of the following:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
- Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
- Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
Warm Home Discount letters sent out – worth £150
Millions of households are in line to get a £150 discount off their energy bills between December and March 2023.
You'll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker's allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
The Department for Work and Pensions, who's overseeing the scheme, will send you letter in October to confirm if you'll get the payment later on in the year.
Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin from December.
It's up to individual energy companies to decide when they will give their customers the discount.
If you're unsure about who supplies your energy, you can find out through Find My Supplier.
Household support fund – up to £150
Local councils are giving out cash top help households struggling with bills and other essential costs.
How much you can get depends on where you live and in many areas.
To qualify you'll usually need to be a recipient of council tax support.
You can search for yours using the search tool on gov.uk – just enter your postcode.
Local councils also offer welfare assistance schemes all year round that can help you with bills.
Cold weather payment – worth up to £75
When temperatures plummet those in low income households can get a £25 payment.
These cold weather payments have already been made in several locations where residents have experienced below zero weather.
The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven day period of low temperatures between November 1 and March 31.
In the coldest areas three £25 payments have been made so far this winter, adding up to £75 in total.
See if your postcode has qualified for a payment and make sure you got it if you were eligible.
Fuel vouchers – £50
If you're on a prepayment meter you might be able to get a one-off voucher to top up.
The fuel voucher scheme comes via the Fuel Bank Foundation charity, and it's offered through a range of organisations, like food banks and Citizens Advice.
The best place to start to find somewhere which can offer you a fuel voucher is by asking your local council – you can find yours via gov.uk by searching your postcode.
The voucher should help you cover around two weeks worth of electricity use.
Some energy companies may also issue their own vouchers, so ask your supplier directly.
Emergency credit – £10
Energy companies usually offer emergency credit, though you will have to pay this back.
How much you get and how it's applied will depend on who your supplier is.
It might be added to your meter when you fall below a certain amount or you might have to ask for it.
You might get extra if you are vulnerable, for example if you have a health condition or are over state pension age.
You'll have to repay the cash next time you top up, but you can speak to your supplier about how much you'll pay back and over what time.
Energy grants – worth up to £1,500
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
The British Gas Energy Trust has previously paid struggling households up to £1,500 – and you don't need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this help.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Npower's energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
Check other benefits and help you can get
It's also worth noting that millions of Brits are missing out on benefits they're entitled to adding up to billions of pounds in total.
Benefit calculators can help you check what you could be entitled to.
There are several benefit checker tools you can use – here's our guide.
You can get free debt advice
If you're in debt there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free advice on how to manage debt.
Most of them can offer you free guidance and help in person, over the telephone or online.
- Money Advice Service – 0800 138 7777
- Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060
- StepChange – 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
Read More on The Sun
People are only just realising what the LG logo really means… did you spot it?
I asked for my favourite item in Greggs but was told it’s NEVER been on menu
They can also help you take the next steps if you need a debt management plan (DMP) to tackle your debt or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). These are agreements for managing multiple debts.
Source: Read Full Article