A massive rise in the cost of gas and electric that suppliers pay has sent household energy prices soaring.

The market is unpredictable, which means advice can change rapidly.

Usually when energy bills go up, the best advice is to shop around for a cheaper deal, but there are very few on the market right now. However, you can still get help to manage your bills.

Firstly, don't be afraid to tell your supplier straight away if you are finding it hard to pay. Suppliers will provide specialist advice and support to find a solution before things get worse.

Grants are available to clear domestic gas and electricity debts. But before you apply for these grants, get some free advice from a reputable agency like those listed below to make sure they are the right option for you.

Energy schemes, support and advice

£400 Energy Bills Support Scheme

The Government has announced funding for all energy suppliers to pass on to domestic electricity customers from October 2022.

You will get a £400 discount.

It will be administered by energy suppliers and paid over 6 months, with payments starting from October 2022.

  • You should see a discount of £66 applied to your energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December through to March 2023.
  • The discount will be provided every month regardless of whether your pay monthly, quarterly or have an associated payment card.
  • You will never be asked to give your bank details. If you have a domestic electricity connection you will not need to apply for it.
  • There is no need to contact your supplier as all domestic electricity customers will be automatically eligible.
  • Electricity bill payers should enquire with their supplier if they have not received their first instalment by the end of October.

More information: Energy Bills Support Scheme explainer

Other energy schemes and advice

  • Better Homes Yorkshire: Kirklees can help you heat your home for less by installing energy saving home improvements.
  • British Gas Energy Trust supports people who are struggling to pay their bills. They award grants to households that remove energy debt, fund emergency fuel credit and provide boiler replacements.
  • Charis may be able to offer help and advice with clearing energy arrears.
  • Citizens Advice: Your energy supply offers free support if you're struggling to pay your energy bills or can't afford to top up your prepayment meter. They can help you to understand your bill and get a better energy deal.
  • Energy Performance Certificates give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require an Energy Performance Certificate.
  • Energy Saving Trust: Energy At Home advises how to make your home more energy efficient to help lower energy bills.
  • Groundwork Green Doctor gives free, impartial energy advice to stay warm, stay well, and save money on household bills.
  • Holmfirth Transition Town (HoTT) offers help for people in the Holme Valley. They can help people whose health is vulnerable to winter cold by providing:
    • draught proofing materials
    • basic insulation
    • other energy saving measures.
    They have a stall in Holmfirth Library, between 10am and midday, on the first Thursday of each month over the winter period.
  • Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) is a free service that helps people keep warm and reduce their energy bills without costing them any money. See how you can save and check your eligibility for the scheme.
  • Ofgem - Switching energy tariff or supplier tells you how to compare and switch your energy tariff or supplier when shopping around for a new energy deal.
  • Owning, buying or renting a property - The Housing Solutions Service can help you find, keep and maintain an affordable home. They can support you if you are living in a privately rented house and your landlord has not carried out necessary repairs, or if they do not have up-to-date safety certificates.
  • Simple Energy Advice gives impartial and independent advice to help you reduce energy bills and make your home warmer.
  • Turn2Us tells you what support is available to help with energy bills, as well as a wide range of other support with money and bills.

Guidance for council tenants

Repairs

Age UK: Handyperson services are available if you are eligible. They can include:

  • Energy efficiency checks - installing draught excluders, radiator heat reflectors and energy efficient lightbulbs
  • Small repairs - putting up curtain rails, shelves and pictures
  • Safety measures - fitting smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and grab rails
  • Home security - door and window locks, door chains and door viewers.

Support through Winter

  • The Cold Weather Payment is an automatic payment if:
    • you're getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest; and
    • the average temperature in your area is recorded as zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme - If you're on a low income or get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit you could qualify for a one-off discount on your winter energy bill.
  • How to stay well in winter gives advice for over 60s, low income families and people living with a disability.

Top tips on keeping warm and cosy in winter

  • Don't let the cold catch you out - check the weather forecast so you are prepared.
  • Make sure you have tinned, dried and frozen food in the house so you can make a hot meal.
  • Have plenty of hot drinks like tea, coffee or hot water.
  • Make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines at home or have them delivered.
  • Flu is much more serious than a cold.
  • Make sure you can check the temperature in your living room and bedroom. The room where you sit should be 21℃ and your bedroom should be 18℃.
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer. Socks and hats are great too as hands and feet can soon get cold.
  • Cover yourself with a blanket or shawl if you are sitting for long periods.
  • Tuck curtains behind radiators, this will keep the heat in the room.
  • Keep moving if you can, this will help keep you warm.

Top tips for reducing energy waste in the home

Lots of energy suppliers are offering households the option of having a smart meter. This is a free, simple device which shows how much gas and electricity is being used.

More information: Citizens advice: Smart Meters

Energy saving tips and approximate annual savings
Tip type Tip Approximate annual saving
Efficient heating control Install a room thermostat, a programmer, and thermostatic radiator valves to efficiently control heating £70
Efficient heating control Turn down room heating by just one degree £55
Efficient hot water usage If your shower takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head £75 (family of four)
Efficient hot water usage Spend just one minute less in the shower £47 (family of four)
Eliminate drafts Draught-proof your windows, doors and any cracks in floors and skirting boards £25
Eliminate drafts Install a chimney draught excluder £18
Use only what you need Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need £6
Use only what you need Turn lights off when you're not using them - if you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, regardless of the type of light £11
Efficient lighting Replace old bulbs with LED spotlights - they are bright enough to replace halogens, as well as regular energy saving bulbs £30
Turn off at the plug Turn appliances off at the plug rather than leaving them in standby mode £35
Efficient laundry Cut back one washing machine cycle per week if you can £8
Efficient laundry Lower the temperature - wash at 30℃ £13 (average four washes a week)

Some other ways to reduce energy waste in the home

  • Install insulation
  • Upgrade your boiler
  • Use heavy or lined curtains
  • Use rugs
  • Close rooms that you aren't using.

If you need immediate help

Tell your supplier straight away if you are finding it hard to pay. Suppliers will provide specialist advice and support to find a solution before things get worse.

Council Tax Energy Rebate

The government has introduced a one-off £150 payment to help people with rising energy costs. The money will be paid to council tax payers living in a property in band A to D. Search for your Council Tax band

If you pay your council tax by Direct Debit you'll receive the payment automatically. If you don't, you may need to apply for the rebate.

This money is not a loan and does not need to be paid back.

More information: How to claim the energy Council Tax rebate 2022-23

Local Welfare Provision

Local Welfare Provision includes contact details if you are need immediate support.

Additional support

  • Mental health support offers a range of resources and advice if you are experiencing mental health problems. Get confidential help and support.
  • Customer service centres - Visit us in person for help and get free access to computers and phones to contact a council service.
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