Experts have warned that energy bills could reach £3,615 a year by January. That's over £300 a month for a typical household. For many, this winter will be one of desperation. This is a crisis, and we need to act now to support the most vulnerable this winter.
That's why over the next few months, we'll be campaigning on a range of issues to tackle the energy crisis, from providing more cash support to retrofitting homes to bring down bills.
Experts have warned that the energy price cap could hit £3,615 a year. That would double energy bills compared to last winter. Yet the Government has only given councils the same amount of funding as last winter to help people with their energy bills.
Join us in calling on the Government to double the support provided to help people struggling with their food and energy bills, and to remove onerous new rules about who can receive support.
As well as providing cash support, we need to tackle one of the biggest causes of high energy bills: our poorly insulated, draughty houses.
That's why our members are supporting The Great Homes Upgrade campaign to upgrade 19 million homes by 2030. Click the button below to find out how you can get involved.
If you or anyone in your community needs help with their energy bills during this difficult time, here are some of the options available. You can also check for advice on websites like Gov.uk, Citizens Advice and MoneySavingExpert, which were all sources for this guide. If you know of any other sources of assistant from the co-operative movement and beyond, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The single best thing you can do if you think you are likely to fall into debt with your energy bills is contact your supplier. They are obliged to try and help. This is usually done by negotiating a payment plan with you that you can afford.
All the big energy firms have charitable trusts that can help if you're in debt and struggling to repay. In addition, British Gas offers to help whether you are a customer or not if you live in England, Scotland or Wales – but the eligibility criteria is strict and you are best advised to seek help from contact National Energy Action, Home Energy Scotland and Citizens Advice about applying.
All households in England, Scotland and Wales will get a one-off £400 energy grant. All households with an electricity meter will get it (though communal bill-payers and park-home owners may miss out).
Those paying by direct debit or once they receive a bill will get the money credited to their accounts, while those on prepay will be paid by voucher. The payments will likely be spread out over the six months from October 2022 to March 2023.
Over eight million households in the UK on means-tested benefits will get a payment of £650. Check on Gov.uk to see if you're eligible.
Every UK household with someone over state pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19 and 25 September 2022 is entitled to help towards their energy costs under the Government's Winter Fuel Payment scheme, which is usually between £100 and £300.
The Government’s cost of living support package includes a one-off £300 top-up to the winter fuel payment.
This is a one-off payment given to certain households when the temperatures drop low during the winter period. Those eligible get £25 for each seven-day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31. You will be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you already get any of the following: Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit. If you're eligible, you should be paid the extra money automatically.
The Warm Home Discount scheme is available to some on low income. It requires suppliers with more than 50,000 customers to help vulnerable people pay for their energy over winter. Find out more on Gov.uk.
Councils in England have access to a pool of funding to help those most in need. Eligibility varies, as it's up to councils to decide. To find out what your council offers and whether you might qualify for support, and to apply, contact your council as soon as you can.
The Energy Payment Support Scheme provides a one-off £200 payment to about 280,000 people in receipt of certain benefits. The payment will be made automatically into the same account your benefits are paid.
The Winter Fuel Support Scheme, a £100 one-off payment, will help about 350,000 people, will be paid from January 2022 until the end of March 2022. You need to apply for this by 18 February 2022.