We are urging residents to take advantage of benefits and grants to help pay energy bills.
Recently, energy regulator Ofgem confirmed that there will be a further rise in the price cap for energy from October and that the average household’s yearly energy bill in the UK will increase to £3,549.Heating your home to at least 18°C (65°F) is important for your health and immune system, especially if you are 65 or over, have reduced mobility, or an existing health condition such as heart or lung disease.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism, and planning, said: “The recent Ofgem announcement means local residents will be concerned about their energy bills. I urge everyone to check their eligibility for the various national and local benefits and grants that are available, because they can make a real difference in reducing your fuel bills and ensuring your home is warm during the winter months.”
The following national and local grants and benefits are currently available to Southend residents who meet the relevant criteria.
Warm Home Discount
You may be able to get £140 off your electricity bill this winter with a Warm Home Discount. Or you may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead, if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. The scheme reopens in November 2022. To find out more visit the gov.uk website or call 0800 731 0214.
Winter Fuel Payment
You could get a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 26 September 1956. If you get the state pension, you'll usually get the payment automatically in November or December. To find out more, visit the gov.uk website or call 0800 731 0160.
Cold Weather Payments
You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or ‘Support for Mortgage Interest’. A payment of £25 is made for each 7-day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March (0°C or below over seven consecutive days). Visit the gov.uk website to find out if you qualify. Cold Weather Payments are different to Winter Fuel Payments.
Household Support Fund - Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
This grant is to help residents through the winter months up until 30th September 2022. We have set up a number of avenues for granting assistance under this fund. Visit our website for more details.
Local Energy Advice Partnership
The Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) is a free advice service helping people keep warm and reduce their energy bills.
LEAP works in partnership with the council and has helped lots of people in the city reduce their energy bills. Advisors can:
- help find a cheaper energy deal
- fit a free energy saving kit in your home (such as lightbulbs and draught-proofing)
- give practical advice on heating systems and saving energy
- arrange a free money advice consultation to help with benefits, debt and other money problems
- can refer you on, where applicable, for larger energy efficiency measures such as loft and wall insulation, boiler repairs and replacement
To book a free energy advice phone call or home visit:
- Apply online
- or call free on 0800 060 7567
The Warmer Homes fund allows properties that currently have electric storage heaters, room heaters or open fires as their form of heating to have gas central heating installed. Eligibility: EPC of E, F or G and low income household (under £30,000) and in receipt of means tested benefits.
Sustainable Warmth Grant
The Sustainable Warmth Grant offers energy saving home improvements, like insulation, renewable heating systems and double glazing. This could help you reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer and more comfortable, and lower your carbon emissions. The grant is funded by the UK Government and managed by Warmworks with support from Energy Saving Trust. Applications accepted to the end of March 2023.
The Southend Emergency Fund
The Southend Emergency Fund is run by the Shared Spaces Charity. It gives grants to local charities to work with and relieve individuals and families in hardship arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Local charities that apply for the Emergency Fund under Household Support will be able to support vulnerable households to access support for energy and water bills, amongst other things.
Friends of the Elderly Grant
Up to £400 of grant or £500 for households of two or more, can only be accessed by Referral Agent e.g. Health Care Worker. Essential living costs are capped at £250. They only accept one application per household, per year. Visit Friends of the Elderly website for more information.
See our climate change page for general advice on how to save on energy and water costs whilst still reducing your carbon footprint.