Get help with paying energy bills

Energy bills are rising. On Friday 1 April 2022 the energy cap increased, and further rises are likely in October 2022. Ofgem provides more information about the energy price cap on their website.

Support available to help with rising energy costs is set out below. This includes financial help with bills, support and advice to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Improving energy efficiency helps to manage energy bills into the future.

Our partners, Simple Energy Advice, Centre for Sustainable Energy, and Citizen’s Advice provide further information on support, in particular, the grants available from energy suppliers.

Always contact your energy supplier as soon as you can if you’re worried about paying your energy bills, are in debt to your supplier or can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter.

Under Ofgem rules, your supplier must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford. You might be able to apply to them for a non-repayable hardship grant to help pay it off. 

If you can’t get a grant from your own supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Families Fund (0121 348 7797) which offers grants of up to £1,500. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer.

Top tips to save energy costs this winter

Check if these energy saving tips provided by Octopus Energy, Money Saving Expert (Martin Lewis) or the Energy Saving Trust could help you reduce your bills. 

If you’ve got a combi boiler at home - one that produces your heating and hot water - you could save up to £112 a year on your gas bill by taking a few moments to change a single setting. It only takes a few minutes to lower your flow temperature, and it can be changed back instantly. Find out how.

Government support with energy prices

Energy Price Guarantee: The Energy Price Guarantee reduces the unit cost of electricity and gas.

  • The price guarantee limits the amount you can be charged per unit of gas or electricity, so your exact bill amount will continue to be influenced by how much energy you use.
  • You don't need to apply, and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.

The discount is automatic. If you get a message telling you that you need to apply, or asking for your bank or credit card details, this could be a scam. You can report messages you think are suspicious.

Energy Bills Support Scheme: all households with a domestic electricity connection will receive a £400 non-repayable discount to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023. 

The discount will be applied to your monthly household electricity bill for six months starting in October 2022. You’ll get:

  • £66 in October and November
  • £67 in December, January, February and March

You’ll get the discount monthly, even if you pay for your energy quarterly or use a payment card.

Traditional prepayment meter users will get equivalent vouchers that you'll need to redeem. 

What to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills 

Make your home more energy efficient, lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions.
 
By making your home more energy efficient, you can reduce your energy use and make your home warmer.

This can include changing the way you heat your home, adding insulation to reduce loss of heat, and generating your own renewable energy. 

The Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust have information on:

Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSEN)

SSEN also provide good advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint and save money.

Sustainable Warmth Scheme

This is a free scheme suitable for those who are at risk of fuel poverty and is appropriate for both off-grid and on-grid homes. If you are eligible, you could receive energy efficiency upgrades such as wall, floor and roof insulation, window upgrades, heat pumps, solar panels, and solar thermal panels.
 
To be eligible:

  • You must have a household income of, or lower than, £30,000 and / or be in receipt of benefits and;
  • Your property must be difficult to keep warm - for instance, it has a low EPC rating. 

Upon receiving your application and permission, City Energy, our scheme partner, will assess your eligibility and arrange a suitable date to carry out property surveys to determine which installations will benefit your properties energy efficiency best. From here, you will be informed of the result, and upon your agreement, a date will be arranged for installation of the measures.
 
To apply please visit Berkshire Applications: Grant Scheme Application Form  or free-call 02921 680951 or the Energy Trust on 0808 196 8255.  

You can also see details about this scheme and new energy saving schemes on RBWM Together
 
Applications will be assessed, with the installations coming to an end on Friday 31 March 2023, or when the funding has been exhausted.

Flexible Home Improvement Loans

We offer a Flexible Home Improvement Loan scheme aimed at helping homeowners aged 60 years or over to carry out improvements or repairs to make their homes:

  • Safer.
  • Warmer.
  • Healthier.
  • More comfortable.

Loan offers we have made have included funding to provide:

  • New kitchens.
  • Bathrooms.
  • Re-roofing.
  • Replacement boilers.
  • Complete central heating systems.
  • Double glazing.
  • Solar panels.

Please see our Flexible home improvements loan webpage for further information.

DraughtBusters

DraughtBusters is a service in which volunteers offer to fix draughts for free! They especially want to help those who might find it difficult to heat their homes. Request help by emailing RBWMdraughtbusters@gmail.com