Click on links below for advice on saving energy and assistance with heating and other household bills.

Government payments

Somerset Household Support Fund – £3.8m to assist Somerset residents struggling to afford household bills and essentials, which is due to be distributed by September 2022. Also see Somerset West and Taunton Council’s Hardship Fund in next section below.

Other government help includes:

  • an automatic ‘Energy Price Guarantee‘ so that a typical UK household will pay no more than £2,500 a year on their energy bill for two years from 1 October 2022;
  • 0% VAT on energy saving materials, such as thermal insulation and solar panels;
  • a £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for households on means tested benefits (some first payments were made in July, more follow in September);
  • a £300 one-off Pensioner Cost of Living Payment to be paid alongside the Winter Fuel Payment;
  • a £150 one-off Disability Cost of Living Payment for people who receive certain disability benefits.

Energy Bills Support Scheme – £400 in non-repayable discounts on energy bills is to be provided this winter. This will be administered by energy suppliers and paid to consumers automatically over 6 months from October 2022. Traditional prepayment meter customers will be provided with discount vouchers in the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post.

Council Tax Energy Rebate – Most households should have received this rebate automatically and the deadline to claim has now passed. The government provided a £150 non-repayable Council Tax rebate payment for households liable for Council Tax in Bands A-D, and a small discretionary fund administered by local authorities for others needing support but not eligible for the Council Tax rebate. See local information.

Winter fuel payments – Paid to those aged 65 or over and getting the State Pension or another social security benefit.

Warm Home Discount – Electricity bill discount that can be claimed by those on certain benefits.

Cold Weather Payments – An extra payment of £25 per week to eligible people if the average temperature drops below zero for seven days in a row.

Other advice and support

Hardship Fund – Somerset West and Taunton Council has a short-term Hardship Fund for low-income families struggling to afford household essentials.

Additional household support for Somerset residents – Includes help with food, information and advice, help with childcare, and help with bills.

Citizens Advice Somerset – emergency support.

Council debt advice – Help if you are struggling to pay bills.

Saving electricity at home – Good helpful tips on saving both energy and money from Good Energy.

FurniTrust – Pre-used furniture and household items at low prices for people in need. Delivery available. Donations welcome of unwanted furniture and white goods in good condition. Shop at 37-39 Bridge Street, Taunton.

Money Saving Expert – What to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.

Saving energy and insulation

Safe and Warm Somerset – A range of advice and support with reducing energy bills and keeping warm at home.

Somerset Retrofit Accelerator Project – Discounted Home Retrofit Plans are available to 50 households in Somerset, starting from £50 for an introductory guide and from £100 for a detailed survey and report. Plans will be based on needs, aspirations and budget. Apply to Futureproof.

Somerset Independence Plus – Home improvements for disabled and vulnerable people, including repairs and improvements and retrofit grants and loans for energy efficiency improvements.

Lendology energy efficiency loans – A social enterprise working with Somerset West and Taunton and other councils. Lendology can provide finance for all homeowners, including those who may be excluded from mainstream providers.

Somerset West and Taunton Council – Saving energy advice and support, including for tenants and on getting an Energy Performance Certificate.

Centre for Sustainable Energy – A wide range of impartial home energy advice. Also see my advice on home energy improvements.

Simple Energy Advice – Government endorsed website.

Smart meters – Free smart meters are helpful in allowing you to see how much energy you are using, what it costs and which appliances, when turned on, add most to your energy use.

The Green Party wishes to see a lot more done to address fuel poverty and to assist all to have well insulated homes with zero carbon heating. More support has been provided since the first version of this post in December 2021, but more is still needed, especially for insulation and zero carbon heating to keep homes warm at low cost.

Green PartyCost of living crisis is actually an income crisis and inequality scandal

ORIGINAL  POST: 5 Dec 2021 – UPDATED: 5 Feb 2022, 1 July 2022, 22 July 2022, 30 July 2022, 3 Sept 2022, 8 Sept 2022

One thought on “Help with heating and household bills

  1. Thanks for this Dave. A great resume of what is available. I will send it on locally.

    Yours,

    Paul Musgrove

    Clerk to Stawley Parish Council

    The Shop, Appley Cross

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