Increase household income – more money in your pocket
Saving money and increasing your household income is a great way to help manage your energy bills. There are schemes that offer extra financial help with winter bills, and there are other ways to save money at home. Below are some quick wins that you can apply for, and further information on the support available if you find yourself in need of some extra financial support.
Get help to keep warm
If you receive benefits or are on a lower income you may qualify for cold weather benefits, other grants and the additional help offered by the energy and water suppliers.
Cold weather benefits
There are 3 main cold weather benefits you can apply for:
1. Warm Home Discount
The scheme helps low income households with their energy costs. Participating energy suppliers provide a one-off discount of £140 on your electricity bill between September and March. If you don’t receive it automatically, you will need to apply through your electricity supplier.
What it is and how to apply: It is a £140 rebate on your the household electricity bill. The scheme helps low income households with their energy costs. Participating energy suppliers provide a one-off discount of £140 on your electricity bill between September and March.
Eligibility: There are two ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount. You will automatically qualify if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well), your name is on the bill and your energy supplier is part of the scheme.
If you automatically qualify, you will receive a letter from the Government by 7 December 2018. If you don’t get a letter but believe you should automatically qualify, call the Warm Home Discount Team (0800 731 0214).
If you don’t automatically qualify, you may still be able to apply directly to your electricity supplier if you are on a low income, meet your supplier’s criteria for the scheme and they are part of the scheme.
If you have a pre-pay meter you can still qualify for the discount. Your electricity supplier will tell you how you’ll get the discount e.g. a voucher you can use to top up your meter.
How to apply: Check with your electricity supplier as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible and apply. The number of discounts given by suppliers is limited.
If you live in a park home and pay your electricity through your park site owner, or as part of your pitch fees, you can apply for the Park Home warm home discount by contacting Charis Grants (03303 80 10 40).
2. Winter Fuel Payment
£100-£300 is available for those aged over 65 on the qualifying date (usually in April).You should receive this automatically from the government, but you can call the helpline to confirm (0800 731 0160).
3. Cold weather payment
Are made when the temperature where you live is an average of 0°C or below over seven consecutive days. It is based on the benefits you receive and will also be paid automatically.
Across West Sussex fresh water and waste water is manged by a range of Water Suppliers. All these suppliers have schemes to help low income households, those who may be struggling to pay for their water bills and households receiving certain benefits. You can save money if you are eligible for their scheme. To check click on the name of your supplier(s).
- Southern Water – Essential Tariff
- Portsmouth Water – Helping Hand Tariff
- South East Water – Social Tariff
- Thames Valley Water – Water Sure and Water Help
Checking to see if you are entitlement to some extra financial help is a great way you might be able to increase your household income. Life is full of changes, so it is always worth checking. You can contact your local Citizens Advice or the West Sussex Age UK Helpline. Alternatively, Money Saving Expert has a 10 minute Benefit Check Calculator
If you are looking for support grants to boost your income, or help in a crisis Money Saving Expert has a fantastic Grant Grabbing guide