Energy Crisis Support

3 November 2022

By now I am sure you have all started to feel the chill of winter approaching. For many, it can be hard to stay warm in the colder months. Add the energy price cap increase on top and the cost-of-living crisis and this winter may be extra challenging for many members of our community. However, there are some ways to keep yourself warmer and you may be eligible for some extra support. 

The Energy Discount: 

The government have given every household a £400 energy bill discount as part of the energy bills support scheme. This money does not have to be paid back and will be applied automatically. The discount is applied monthly through six instalments, even if you pay for your electricity using a prepayment card or if you pay for your energy quarterly. If you pay via direct debit, you will either be refunded £66/67 per month or your direct debit amount will be reduced. If you use a payment card or prepayment meter this money will be added as credit or you will be sent a voucher by text, email or post from your supplier. 

Keeping Warm at Home: 

Electric Blanket 

An electric blanket or throw can keep you toasty for much less than your central heating! Some cost just a few pennies to run for the day, and they cost as little as £25 to buy. 

Heated Clothes Horse 

You may be apprehensive about putting your wet clothes in the dryer, but its important to fully dry your clothes to prevent damp or mold. An electric clothes horse could be the solution you are looking for as it costs just a fraction of the price to run! 

Long Hot Water Bottles 

I am sure you are familiar with a traditional hot water bottle, but have you seen the new long hot water bottles? These bottles hold 2 litres of water and are great to cuddle up with in the evenings. Whilst you may be hesitant to boil the kettle, these bottles are well insulated and can keep you warm all night. 

Warm Dinners

The British Heart Foundation suggest that regular hot drinks and foods like soups and stews can keep you feeling warmer in the winter. If you use alternative cooking methods like an air fryer or slow cooker, you can also save electricity. However, if you do use your oven, remember to leave it open once you have finished cooking so that the hot air is not wasted (although check that there are no flammable items in front of it!) 

Grants and Support: 

Warm Home Discount:

If you receive benefits, you may be eligible for the warm home discount. This scheme allows you to get £150 off your electricity bill. You do not need to apply for the scheme as payments are automatic. 

Fuel Vouchers:

If you cannot afford to top up your prepayment meter, you may be able to get a fuel voucher. These vouchers can be used at shops which are signed up to PayPoint and Post Offices signed up for Payzone. You must bring the code and a form of ID which showcases your name and address. You can find out more by visiting this website. 

Tips and Tricks: 

  • The Energy Saving Trust have debunked the suggestion that keeping your heating on low all day is cheaper than using it only when you need to. In the long run, putting your heating on a timer will probably be cheaper. 
  • If you want to lower your energy costs elsewhere in the house, make sure you turn off your appliances at the plug when you are not using them. Whilst the saving may be minimal, keeping your television, computer or microwave on when you are not using it bleeds energy. 
  • If you have a hot water bottle or warm teddy bear, place it in your bed before you go to sleep so that it can make your sheets and pillow feel warmer. 
  • You can cheaply make a draught excluder by filling up a pair of tights with some old socks or items of clothing. Place the draught excluder at the bottom of doors or windows to seal the edges. 

 

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