So Compare Deals Now. But As Well As Changing Suppliers, There Are Other Ways To Save On Your Energy Costs.
Switching providers, or asking your current firm for a better deal, can typically save £200 over the year. That is because many save the best deals only for new customers. Up-and-coming suppliers like Ovo, Octopus and Bulb are often cheaper, and have better customer service and green energy. So compare deals now. But as well as changing suppliers, there are other ways to save on your energy costs.
Warm home discount
A SUM of £140 is deducted from winter energy bills under this scheme, which benefits mainly OAPs without bumper private pension schemes. Some low-income families and people receiving benefits also qualify for this assistance. Most people getting the discount are over-65s who are in the “core group” for pension credit and receiving the guarantee element top-up — bumping up weekly income to £173.75 for a single person or £265.20 for couples. Other benefit recipients should ask their supplier if they maybe qualify for this discount. All of the medium and larger energy providers offer this help — 54 companies in all. But smaller firms with fewer than 250,000 customers are not obliged to do so When to apply: All “core group” pensioners should receive this discount automatically. You should get a letter by December if you are entitled to it. If you think you qualify, and have not received the discount, call the helpline on 0800 731 0214 Saving: £140 a year
Cold weather payments
A SEVERE cold snap during winter can be good news for the bank balances of some benefit recipients — because the Government pays an extra £25 to help with energy costs. The payout can only be triggered by a whole week averaging 0C (32F) in your area. Weeks that cold are pretty rare. But if one does come around, you could qualify for the assistance if you get pension credit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or Universal Credit. There is nothing to lose — and it may just be a nice winter warmer for your bank account.
When to apply:
Payments should be in your bank account within two weeks of applying. If you think you qualify and have not received a payment, contact your local pension centre or Jobcentre Plus, or call the Universal Credit helpline. Saving: £25 per cold spell
Winter fuel payments
OVER-65s get a payout of between £100 and £300 to help with winter fuel bills. You are eligible as long as you were born before October 5, 1954 and lived in the UK for at least one day in the week of September 21 to 27. People aged 80 and over, living alone, get £300, while younger pensioners get £100 each and £200 for couples — but this varies if you get benefits.
Those in care homes can qualify.
When to apply: Payments are made into your bank account by December. First-time recipients should claim by calling 0800 731 0160. Saving: £100 to £300 a year
Heating help for renters
IF you are renting, check if your landlord has to make your home more energy-efficient — this will help reduce your heating bills. Since April, all properties with an energy-performance rating of F or G must be improved to E — for example by laying thicker loft insulation — and costs are payable by your landlord. When to apply: To see your situation, check your energy-performance certificate at epcregister.com.
Check your benefits
A MILLION pensioner households are in poverty, as many are not claiming the pension credit they qualify for. The average unclaimed credit is more than £2,000 a year (£39 a week). A massive £3billion aimed at low- income pensioners goes unclaimed every year, Age UK says. OAPs with a weekly income of under £173.75 for a single person or £265.20 for couples can get a pension credit top-up to those amounts. The state pension is higher than this amount, but some over-65s receive a lower amount as they did not pay enough national insurance during their working lives. Citizens Advice can check you get the benefits you qualify for, and energy suppliers can also monitor this.
This news was originally published at The Sun