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What’s happening to energy bills from July?

After 1 July 2023 the Energy Price Guarantee won’t apply to most tariffs. This is because the ‘Energy Price Cap’ will be cheaper.
 
The Energy Price Cap is the maximum amount your supplier can charge you for a single unit of gas or electricity if you’re on a standard variable tariff - it’s set by the energy regulator Ofgem. 
 
How this affects what you’ll pay for gas and electricity depends on the tariff you’re on. If you're not sure what tariff you're on, check your energy bills or contact your energy supplier.
 
If you're on your supplier's 'default tariff', this is the same as a standard variable tariff. You’re probably on a default tariff if you haven’t switched suppliers in the last year, or you’ve never checked what tariff you’re on.
 
If you’re on a standard variable tariff
Your energy bills will probably be cheaper - you’ll be charged less per unit of energy you use. 
 
Between 1 July and 30 September 2023 the cap on the unit cost of electricity will be 30p per kilowatt hour (kWh) and 8p per kWh for gas. It means average energy bills for a typical household will fall by around £420 a year. 
 
Ofgem say that from 1 July, the average energy bill for a household on a default tariff, or standard variable tariff, will be around £2,074 per year but remember even if you are on a default tariff your bill will be determined by how much energy you use, so your bill could be more (or less) than £2,074. 
 
 
Ofgem will review the Energy Price Cap on 1 October 2023 - this means the price of energy might change again.
 
If you’re not on a default / standard variable tariff, for example you’re on a fixed tariff or a time-of-use tariff then contact your supplier to check how your bills will change after 1 July 2023.
 
If your bills are expected to go up, there might be things you can do - for example, switch from a fixed tariff early. If you're worried about your energy tariff and what it means for you after 1 July 2023 we’ve more advice here.

Is the government still giving people money towards their energy bills?

The Energy Bills Support Scheme ended in March 2023. This means you will no longer receive a monthly payment towards your energy bills from the beginning of April 2023. (For most households this was the £400 given in 6 instalments starting from October 2022 of £66 / £67 until March 2023). If you have a prepayment meter that you top up at a shop or Post Office, you have until June 2023 to cash in your Energy Bills Support Scheme vouchers.  
 
What you need to know about the Energy Bills Support Scheme - A guide for people who use traditional prepayment meters
 
It’s not just energy bills that are rising – food, petrol and many other things have gone up in price recently. We understand that this is a worrying time for many and we are here to support you.  
 

What support and financial help is still available towards energy bills and the cost of living?

You can get help if you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, or top up your prepayment meter. You might also be able to get certain benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers.
  
Government support - Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024
You may be able to get up to 5 payments to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits.
 
You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits. This includes if you’re found to be eligible at a later date.
 
If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.
 
These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you get.
  • Low income benefits and tax credits Cost of Living Payments
You may be entitled to up to 3 Cost of Living Payments of around £300 each (they will actual be paid as £301, £300 and £299) if you get certain benefits or tax credits, such as Universal Credit, Income Support, or Working Tax Credits (you can find a full list of qualifying benefits and tax credits here) on certain dates.  
 
The payment will be made separately from your benefit payments.
 
If you’re entitled, you will get:
  • £301 paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 for most people on DWP benefits
  • £301 paid between 2 and 9 May 2023 for most people on tax credits and no other low income benefits
  • £300 paid during autumn 2023 for most people
  • £299 paid during spring 2024 for most people.
If you have a joint claim on the qualifying dates, a single payment of £301, £300 and £299 will be sent using the same payment method used between these dates, if you’re eligible.
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
Around six million people across the UK who receive the certain disability benefits, such as DLA, PIP and Attendance Allowance will receive a one-off payment of £150. Most people will be paid the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment during summer 2023. The government will make these payments directly to eligible people across the UK.
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024, you will get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023.
 
The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment (including the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment) you will get for winter 2023 to 2024 depends on when you were born and your circumstances during the qualifying dates. You can get a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024 if you were born before 25 September 1957.
 
You will be sent a letter in October or November telling you how much Winter Fuel Payment you’ll get if you’re eligible. 
 
  • Extension of Household Support Fund
The Government is also providing £842 million of support, via the Household Support Fund, running from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills. The Household Support Fund is administered by local councils in England, and eligibility will be determined by individual councils. Further information is available directly from Wiltshire Council.
 
You can find more detailed information about all the Cost of living support from the Government, including examples of how much money you could receive, depending on your circumstances and what benefits make you eligible for which Cost of living payments on .gov.uk
 
Other support you may be eligible for: 
Warm Home Discount: This gives you money off your electricity bill if you’re on a low income.
 
If you get benefits, you might be able to get £150 off your electricity bill or £150 added to your prepayment meter. If you, or your partner get the guaranteed element of pension credit, you should get the discount.
 
Check with your supplier to see if they offer the Warm Home Discount because not all of them do. You can only get the discount if your supplier is in the scheme. You don’t need to apply for the scheme - payments are automatic.
 
You might also be able to get the Warm Home Discount if you get a different benefit and the government decides you have 'high energy costs'. They'll work this out automatically - you don't need to contact them. 
 
Winter Fuel Payment: This is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter.
You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 25 September 1957. If you’re eligible, you should get this automatically. 
 
You’ll automatically get an extra 'pensioner cost of living payment' with your usual Winter Fuel Payment in either November or December.
 
You should start getting the Winter Fuel Payment automatically once you reach State Pension age, but sometimes you might need to apply. You can find out how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment on GOV.UK.
 
Cold Weather Payments: Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold. You’ll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time. You’ll only be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you already get certain benefits. If you're eligible, you should get paid automatically. Find out more about Cold Weather Payments on GOV.UK.
 
Get support from your energy supplier: Call your supplier and ask them if they offer any grants to help with your energy bills. Even if you’re not eligible for grants, suppliers still need to support you to manage your payments based on what you can afford. Depending on your circumstances, they may also offer you a referral for independent debt support or energy efficiency advice. They may also be able to offer you temporary credit for your prepay meter that you’ll need to repay.
 
 
Local energy grants and support:
Surviving Winter Grant: The Surviving Winter grant can provide households with £200 to help with winter fuel costs. Grants are made from funds raised by the Wiltshire Community Foundation’s annual Surviving Winter campaign. If you are of pensionable age or​ have a long-term health condition which is exacerbated by the cold weather and are on a low income you may be eligible for support through the Surviving Winter programme. To find out more please contact:
  • Age UK Wiltshire - if you are of pensionable age on 0800 0385722
  • Warm and Safe Winter - if you are working age on 0808 1962424
Fuel vouchers: If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter you might be able to get a fuel voucher. You can contact us at Wiltshire Citizens Advice for more details about this. We can also help with food bank vouchers too. 
 
Local Social Welfare Support: Wiltshire Council has a local welfare provision scheme that provides critical short-term help and assistance with limited one-off household goods. For full details, or to apply visit: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/958/Help-in-a-crisis
 
Warm and Safe Wiltshire: Provides fuel poverty support for those most in need - for households of working age earning less than the Real Living Wage and have anxiety, poor mental health, or are visually impaired, hard of hearing, or are from Boater or Traveller communities. Eligible residents can contact Warm and Safe Wiltshire on 0800 038 5722 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit Warm and Safe Wiltshire website.
 
Is there anything more I can do to save money on energy?
There are some simple things you can do to save some money on your energy bills. They won’t cover all the extra costs, but they can make a difference.
 

Energy saving tips

Keep the heat in: Check your home for any gaps in the doors, windows and floors. Blocking any holes where you could get a draught could save you around £50 a year. If you’re renting, ask your landlord to ensure your home has good insulation. 
 
Turn off anything you’re not using: Turning your appliances, like TVs and washing machines, off instead of leaving them on standby could save around £60 a year. Turning off lights when you’re not using them could save up to £25 a year. Consider using LED lightbulbs, which cost less to run.
 
Watch your water usage: Cutting your shower time by just one minute can make a difference. If everyone in a four-person household with a water meter did this, you could save around £75 a year.
 
For more tips on saving energy, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
 

Need advice?

We know this is a stressful and worrying time. We’re encouraging people to consider small ways they can make savings at home wherever possible and make sure they’re getting all the support they’re entitled to.
 
If you’re struggling, worried you might not be able to afford to top up your meter, or pay your bills, or are having any issues with your energy supplier, don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can help you find a way forward.
 
Call us on freephone 0800 144 8848 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or email us for support and advice.
 
First published 22 February 2022. Last updated 17 July 2023. 

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