How you could get up to £300 off your bills as pensioner pays extra £540
Energy: Expert reveals best schemes to apply for
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Gill contacted BBC Money Box yesterday and stated that her energy bills were £540 per year extra this year since the Ofgem price cap increased by £139. She said: “I’m in receipt of only the state pension. Heat or food will be the choice for millions.
Alex Belsham-Harris from Citizens Advice offered guidance to those who may need financial help.
On the podcast he said: “It’s a really difficult situation and we know for lots of people that their benefits will be cut when the Universal Credit uplift ends, so getting extra help if you can is obviously something a lot of people will be looking for.
“There are a few different schemes that exist to help people with their energy bill.”
The first scheme that Mr Belsham-Harris mentioned was the Winter Fuel Allowance.
For those born before September 26th, 1955, they can apply for the Winter Fuel Allowance.
The Winter Fuel Allowance is a one-off, tax-free payment of between £100 and £300 made during the winter to help with heating costs.
It is available for any households that include someone over the state pension age. The allowance is not means-tested, so it does not take a person’s financial situation into account.
The exact amount someone is entitled to will depend on their age and living circumstances during the qualifying week.
This one-off payment is paid into one’s state pension directly, or other benefit schemes if people get those.
If people have deferred their pension, it is important to apply for this scheme but there is more information about this on gov.uk.
Furthermore, another scheme available for those looking to cut costs this winter is the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
“This is targeted at low-income households and that’s delivered by large and medium sized energy suppliers,” Mr Belsham-Harris explained.
The Warm Home Discount provides eligible people with £140 off their electricity bill to help them heat their home during the winter.
The scheme provides a one-off discount between October and March and helps people on lower incomes keep their homes warm during the coldest months of the year.
People can apply to receive the discount for this winter on October 18, 2021, and the payment does not impact the Winter Fuel Payment for anyone also taking advantage of this scheme. Shell Energy customers could get a head start. With their applications now open, Shell is encouraging people to check whether they are eligible to receive the Warm Home Discount through their scheme.
People who get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit are entitled to claim the Warm Home Discount, as well as people on a low income who meet the criteria set out by their relevant energy supplier. The way in which a person qualifies for it impacts the way it is applied.
Mr Belsham-Harris warned: “it is a first come first serve scheme so each supplier will open a window for applications and for some suppliers that may be closed as they have received as many applications as they can fill.
“So it is a scheme that is limited.”
The last scheme mentioned was the Cold Weather Payments.
Cold Weather Payments are available to Britons who currently receive at least one of the designated qualifying benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Eligible households across Britain receive £25 for every seven-day period of very cold weather in their area between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
Recipients of Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit are eligible to receive payments.
Families receive the payment if the average temperature in their area is reported as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below that amount over seven consecutive days.
Temperatures are recorded separately for every single constituency in the UK through local weather stations.
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