If you need support with your energy and household bills due to the cost of living crisis, here are some ways that you can save money:
From 1st October, the 80% price cap rise has been cancelled. This means, prices will still rise but by far less.
The energy crisis is impacting every household within the UK. Whilst the price cap rise continues to be an issue, we’ve had some positive news that the price cap will be replaced by a roughly 27% higher ‘price guarantee rate’ set to last for two years.
Back in May, we were promised a £400 flat reduction for all homes this winter, which remains. If we take this into account, the average rise over your current energy cost is 6.5% £2,100/yearly on typical use.
Whilst we can’t offer any advice to reduce the cost, because the increase will affect everyone, we can advise that everyone should consider their energy usage and to monitor this.
Can you reduce your energy consumption, to try and ease the impact of the price increase? Cutting use, cuts bills.
A smart meter shows how much energy you use in real time and how much it costs. Knowing where your energy costs are coming from and keeping an eye on your usage can help. Use your smart meter to work out where you can cut back and make savings. Find out more, here.
Ask your energy provider about having a smart meter installed if you don’t already have one.
Have you checked that your income is maximised, are there any benefits or savings that you could be missing out on? You can carry out a comprehensive benefit check by using sites like www.entitledto.co.uk and www.turn2us.org.uk or by speaking to a member of the Money Advice Team.
If you are struggling to make payments or have debt with your energy provider, don’t bury your head in the sand – ask for help.
You can get help from your energy provider, our Money Advice Team which includes qualified energy advisors, or you can seek support from Citizens Advice. Many energy companies have support funds and hardship grants available for customers who are struggling with their energy bills. You might be able to get a grant from the supplier to help.
Warm Home Discount
Have you checked if you’re eligible for the £150 Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 22/23?
Each year some energy companies provide a pot of money called the Warm Home Discount Scheme to help cover the extra energy costs over the winter. Not everyone gets the discount and each of the energy companies has slightly different qualifying criteria.
This year, the discount scheme has changed slightly. You no longer need to apply for the discount, your electricity supplier will assess your situation and get in contact with you if you are eligible.
The scheme has now reopened as of November 2022. So, keep an eye out for correspondence from your supplier to see if you are eligible.
For more information on the scheme, click here.
Water Saving Advice
Are you on the best tariff with Welsh Water or have you considered a water meter to save money?
If you live alone, don’t use much water, or are just looking to reduce your bill then you might save money by having a water meter fitted, that way you’ll only pay for the water you use.
If you receive benefits or have a low income, take a look at the Welsh Water schemes that are on offer which might be able to help you with your payments. These schemes include:
- HelpU tariff – help for low-income households on means tested benefits.
- Water direct debt support scheme – pay your water charges directly from any benefits you receive.
- Bill Cap – WaterSure Wales tariff – help for households in receipt of benefits who use more water due to a higher household size or medical condition.
If you’re struggling with your water payments or have missed payments, the best thing to do is speak to Welsh Water, the Money Advice Team can also support you with this.
Welsh Water also offer a Customer Assistance Fund Debt Support Scheme – it’s set up to help those in severe financial hardship to clear and get on top of their payments.
For support with you water bills, visit Welsh Water or call 0800 052 0145 to speak to a Welsh Water advisor.
Broadband Social Tariff
Social tariffs are a great option for customers who might be struggling to afford their broadband or phone service. These cheaper packages are only available to customers who are in receipt of certain benefits. It’s worth checking your eligibility to see if you could save yourself some money.
TalkTalk even offer free broadband for 6 months if you’re seeking work on Universal Credit and you don’t have internet connection.
If you’re having difficulty paying for your phone or broadband service, speak to your provider as soon as possible.
If you need any support with your bills or finances, our Money Advice Team are available to help.
For more support with the cost of living crisis, visit our dedicated Cost of Living page.