HOUSEHOLDS could save around £200 a year on their energy bills under new government scheme.
Thousands of people overpay by hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills due to poor insulation.
But in today's mini budget, the government announced it is expanding the energy company obligation, which funds suppliers to provide eligible households with energy efficient improvements.
This can include funding for home improvements such as insulation and heating controls.
It will be available to low-income and vulnerable households in council tax bands A-D.
The government is yet to confirm the full details of who is eligible and how people can claim.
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But in documents released after the budget, it said the help will be worth £1 billion over the next three years, starting from April 2023.
Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at Uswitch.com said: “Energy efficiency improvements allow heat to be held inside our homes, which could make a significant difference to bills while reducing our reliance on gas.
“Any legislation that supports this is welcomed, although far more urgency will be required to meet the true scale of this challenge.”
Households will see a shake-up to their finances as a result of the mini budget delivered by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, including a raft of tax cuts.
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The Chancellor announced:
- Beer price rise cancelled
- National Insurance rise scrapped saving hundreds a year
- Income tax cut from next April saving average £170 a year
- Boost for self employed as complex tax rules axed
- Low-tax investment zones for business
- Corporation tax hike scrapped
- Bankers bonus ditched
- Stamp duty cut to save homeowners hundreds of pounds
The mini budget came just two weeks after the government announced the energy price guarantee which will freeze bills at £2,500.
It will be in place from October 1 to help households deal with soaring energy bills.
It was announced by PM Liz Truss to replace Ofgem's price cap, which would have seen bills rocket to £3,500.
But MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis has warned that energy bills could still soar.
Research by USwitch revealed that nearly two in five households think the energy price guarantee completely stops bills from going over £2,500.
But your energy bills could be higher or lower, depending on how much energy you use, and the size of your home.
What energy bill help is available?
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.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- 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
There's also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you're on a prepayment metre.
If you're in debt there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free and friendly advice on how to manage debt.
But there's also a lot of help available outside of energy firms.
Cost of living payments
For example, people with disabilities are starting to get their £150 one-off payment from now which comes on top of the £650 cost of living payment those on certain benefits receive separately.
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.
In November or December this year, a £300 one-off Pensioner cost of living payment will be dished 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.
The extra £300 will be paid directly and is on top of this support which means some eligible households will see their payments double this winter.
You can check out if you are eligible for the Winter Fuel payment in this handy explainer.
Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
Household support fund
The Household Support Fund is a scheme that was launched in October last year to help Brits pay their way through winter amid a cost of living crisis.
It was only due to run until March, but has since been extended until the end of this month.
Each local authority has can dish out the cash to people in their area and the help available depends on where you live.
Many councils have published guidance on their websites, so once you know your council, it’s probably best to google and see how to apply.
You can do that using the government’s local council checker tool by inputting your postcode.
And if that's not enough, there are handy little tricks you can use around the house to keep your bills down.
For example, if you turn your thermostat down by one notch, it can help lower your bills by a whopping £80 a year.
And keeping it at a steady temperature will save even more.
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You should also make sure you turn household appliances off and not leave them on standby as doing this could needlessly add as much as £35 onto your bill.
But if you're worried about being able to afford bills comfortably this winter, there are still plenty of organisations and charities here to help. Here's a few to start you off:
- StepChange: 0800 138 1111
- Citizens Advice: 0808 223 1133
- National Debtline: 0808 808 4000
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