The cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on us all, and with increased energy prices set to rise further moving into the winter months, many are finding themselves in a similar situation.
Most of us are doing the small things we can to save energy and bring our bills down, such as turning off lights when they are not in use, but this only helps so much.
Government Support – Energy Bill Rebate
A £400 package of support has been put together for households to help with the burden. There will be a discount of £66 applied to bills in October and November, and £67 per month from December to March 2023.
All households will be eligible for the energy rebate regardless of income. The way the money is paid depends on the method of energy payment used by customers. Prepayment energy customers will receive vouchers via text, email, or through the post.
There will also be additional amounts paid to certain groups of people:
- Pensioner households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment will receive an extra payment of £300 from Autumn.
- Those who receive non-means tested disability benefits, such as DLA, Attendance Allowance, Child Disability Payment, or PIP will receive a one-off payment of £150 from September.
- Those in receipt of means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit or legacy benefits will be sent a one-off payment of £650, provided straight to the bank account of the eligible person.
The DWP will make the payment in two lump sums – the first should have been made in July, with the second due in Autumn, and payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits following shortly after.
Struggling? Your energy supplier may be able to help…
If you are struggling with energy costs, it is also a good idea to reach out to your supplier, who may have a hardship fund that could help.
There are other sources of support that can help you if you are struggling with the cost of living.
Support from Advice Direct Scotland
Advice Direct Scotland offer a range of services that can help if you are struggling with the cost of living:
- energyadvice.scot provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland. We can provide support with enquiries relating to energy suppliers, no matter how complex; help with understanding energy bills; and make referrals to sources of support for those struggling to pay. More information on the service can be found by visiting www.energyadvice.scot, or by calling 0808 196 8660 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).
- There is also the Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund, through homeheatingadvice.scot.
- moneyadvice.scot provide free information and support on a wide range of debt-related issues and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our specialist advisers can work with you to assess your current situation, look at your income and outgoings, and consider what to do next. You can contact moneyadvice.scot on 0808 196 2316 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm), or by visiting www.moneyadvice.scot.
Check for additional financial support (benefits)
There are approximately half a million people in Scotland not claiming the benefits they are entitled to. You don’t have to be one of them.
Advice Direct Scotland’s benefits calculator can tell you what you may be entitled to, including Scottish devolved benefits. For more information, you can visit www.advice.scot, or speak with an adviser on 0808 800 9060 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).