The UK is facing an energy crisis and energy price has increased for its citizens. How does this increase affect your household expenses as a UK resident and what kind of welfare schemes are available to you to tide over this challenge?
The energy price cap has been increased by Ofgem, the energy regulator of the UK. The price cap has been increased by £139 a year. This means that about 15 million UK residents will be affected by this decision.
This energy price cap directs energy suppliers to limit how much they can charge you as a domestic consumer for gas and electricity. Yet, the increase still affects your monthly expenses. Ofgem has also conveyed that this price cap will be reviewed on April 22. You may face an increase in the energy price cap at that time too next year.
If you don’t know already, if your energy supply at home is not on a fixed tariff, then your energy cost is on the higher side.
Is any Help Available to Take Care of Energy Price Rise?
Indeed, you would be concerned because of this energy price rice as you now have to put more money monthly into your energy expenditure category. But don’t stress too much as there is help available to you.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
1- You can check if you are eligible for the scheme called Warm Home Discount Scheme. If you become eligible for it, you can get a one-off payment that can help you meet heating costs.
2- Once you qualify under this scheme, you become eligible to get £140 off your electricity bill for the winter of 2021 to 2022. Though this money is not paid to you, yet you do get benefitted. How?
3- You get a one-off discount on your electricity bill that is generated between October and March.
4- Alternately, if you have one supplier who provides both gas and energy to you, then you could get a discount on your gas bill. Do contact your supplier for more details in this regard.
5- Importantly, the discount that you get as part of this Warm Home scheme will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.
Advantage of Cold Weather Payment
1- If you are receiving some benefits or even support for mortgage interest, then you do get a chance to get a Cold Weather Payment. This should help you now that energy price has gone up and you have to be more careful about what you spend on energy bills.
2- If the average temperature in your area goes down or is forecast to be, zero degrees celsius and below for the next 7 days, then you can get this payment.
3- What you get as part of this payment is £25 for each 7 day period of weather that is very cold. This duration would be between November 1 and March 31.
4- This Payment scheme continues from November 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Do ask around whether you can get this payment in the area you live in.
Advantage of Winter Fuel Payment
1- Winter Fuel Payment is another effective way to handle the stress of an increase in energy price and what you need to pay every month for energy.
2- First comes the age criteria which you need to be in so that you qualify for this payment. Your date of birth needs to be on or before September 26, 1955. If you are in this age group, then you could get around £100 and £300 which should help in paying your heating bills.
3- Importantly, you will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically once you are eligible. You don’t need to claim it. If you get State Pension or get another social security benefit, then you will get this payment. However, do make your own enquiries on more details about this scheme and your eligibility.
4- If you have got this payment before, then you don’t need to claim it. But if you are not on State Pension or don’t get social security benefits, then you do need to make a claim.
The last date to make a claim for winter 2021-22 is March 31, 2022.
You can get additional help on energy saving advice and other sources of financial assistance in the area you live in.
If you are in England, you can go to the website of Simple Energy Advice. If you are in Scotland, you can check the Home Energy Scotland website. If you are in Wales, go ahead and check out the website of Nest. In Northern Ireland, you can contact the website of NISEP and the Energy Advice Line website.
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