Help with saving money

Save money on gas and electric

What is the new flat-rate £200 energy bill loan?

In October 2022, on every single electricity bill in England, Scotland and Wales, you will either have your bill reduced by £200, or you'll be given a bill credit. If you're on prepay, they'll pay it through your smart meter or they'll give you a voucher or a cheque.

It is not optional, and it is going to happen automatically on every single bill. Then from the following April, and for five years after that, you will then have your bill automatically – without choice – increased by £40 a year.

There is no personal loan to an individual. So if you're living at home with parents and you move out in two years' time, even though you didn't get the £200, your bill will still be £40 higher – every household will be charged £40 more.

Households in England in council tax bands A to D get £150 rebate in April 2022 towards energy increases.

On 3 February 2022, the Government announced measures to help support households with rising energy costs.

This includes a £150 Council Tax energy rebate for eligible council taxpayers in bands A – D.

A maximum of one payment will be made per eligible property, even if more than one person is named on the Council Tax bill or lives in the property. This is a fixed amount so there is no difference in payment for single-person households or multi-person households.

Government support for energy bills and the cost of living - factsheets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Struggling to afford your gas and electric?

Check that you’re not paying someone else’s debt

If you’ve recently moved home, you could be paying off the debt of someone who lived there before you. Make sure your supplier knows when you moved in to avoid this happening.

Check that your meter is working properly

Meter faults are rare but can be expensive. Check whether your meter is faulty if you’re running out of credit too quickly and nothing else seems to be wrong.

Reduce your usage

Sadly, there are no meaningfully cheaper deals than the price cap due to the ongoing energy crisis, so the best way to save right now is to use less energy.

  • Stay warm, cut costs. Try turning your thermostat down by just 1°C and you should see a difference to your annual spending.
  • Layer up. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won't be tempted to turn the heating up.
  • Turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face - it can waste more than six litres of water per minute while it’s running.
  • Don’t leave anything plugged in that isn’t being used. A lot of wasted electricity occurs through leaving appliances plugged.
  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
  • Close your curtains at night. When dusk falls, closing your curtains will help your home retain that heat. This helps keep warmth in the room but try not to drape them over radiators.
  • Switch to LED bulbs. They are much more efficient and last longer too.
  • Do full laundry loads and use the eco setting. 
  • Don’t use standby mode. Unless switched off at the socket, devices like your TV continue to use energy.
  • Energy will only be saved if everyone in the house recognises the importance of saving it. If you’ve got children, turn energy saving into a game to teach them why they should remember to switch things off.
  • Only fill the kettle with how much water you need. By filling your kettle just to the level you need, it could save you up to a third of the energy you have been using by filling to the top.
  • Buy or make a draught excluder. Draught excluders stop heat escaping in gaps between the door and the floor.
  • Keep doors closed. By shutting the door, you ensure the heat stays withing the room you want heated, rather than travelling through the house.
  • Using the timer on your central heating system to avoid heating an empty home.
  • Requesting smart meters and energy monitors from suppliers to make it easy to keep on top of your usage.
  • Spreading your costs evenly over 12 months to avoid huge bills in the winter months. Keep topping your prepayment meter up in the summer to avoid getting into debt in the winter.
  • Paying on a credit meter rather prepayment is usually the cheapest option if your credit rating will allow it.
  • Sharing resources with friends and family. Try spending time at alternate properties so you are not heating two homes.

Check your eligibility

Grants to support energy efficiency home improvements.

There is a list of improvements that energy companies could support to meet their ECO targets, but most companies concentrate on cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. It may also be possible to get help with replacing an inefficient boiler or other heating system.

You may qualify for Energy Company Obligation if you claim certain benefits and meet other requirements. In some cases, you may be able to get help even if you’re not receiving any benefits. This is for homeowners and not tenants.

The energy company may offer to fit the improvement for free, or they may ask you to pay some of the cost yourself.

For more information and to see if you qualify click here Energy Company Obligation — Simple Energy Advice

Winter fuel payments. If you are 65 years old or more, you could get between £00 and £300 to help pay your heating bills.

Warm home discount. If you get certain benefits you may qualify for a £140 discount on your electricity bill this winter. Warm home discount to rise by £10 next winter and eligibility criteria will be expanded.

Cold weather payments. If you get certain benefits you may qualify for payments when the weather is particularly cold.

Home energy grants — Simple Energy Advice

Need more help?

Talk to your supplier as early as possible – they have to help if you're struggling.

If you're falling behind with your energy bills, and finding yourself struggling to pay, the best thing to do is contact your supplier as soon as possible. Under rules from regulator Ofgem, your supplier must help you – usually by negotiating a payment plan that you can afford.

Most energy suppliers offer hardship funds if you're in debt.

You can pay energy bills direct from your benefits to help with budgeting.

If you're struggling to pay for your energy and you're on certain benefits, you may be able pay directly from your benefit payments instead under a Government scheme known as Fuel Direct (also known as 'third party deductions'). The scheme lets you arrange to have a small, fixed amount deducted directly from your benefit payments each week to go towards paying off energy debt.

To use the scheme, you need to contact your Jobcentre (or Pension Centre if you are claiming pension credit) and give them details of your supplier and what you owe. Your Jobcentre or Pension Centre will then get in contact with your provider.

Citizens Advice

Get free energy advice and support, this includes issues with your bills or meters, or if you’re struggling to pay for the energy you use. You can speak to a trained adviser on 0808 223 1133.

Contact the consumer helpline - Citizens Advice

National Energy Action (NEA). The NEA is a national fuel poverty and energy efficiency charity that offers a free support service known as WASH (Warm and Safe Homes). It provides energy advice to households in England and Wales. You can contact it on 0800 304 7159.

National Energy Action (NEA) - the UK's leading fuel poverty charity

StepChange. A debt charity that provides free debt advice to people in England, Scotland and Wales. You can contact them on 0800 138 1111. They can work with you to develop a personalised plan to make repayments, set up and manage a debt management plan for you, or even help with ways to write off debts if you're unable to pay.

Need Help With Gas or Electricity Bills? StepChange

For more information on Energy click here Energy and climate change – Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council