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How to save money on your energy bills and what support there is to help you pay the bills 

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What’s happening to energy bills from July?

Ofgem have announced the energy price cap for next period - 1 July to 30 September 2024. This means that from 1 July 2024 a household with a typical consumption on dual electricity and gas will pay:   
  • £1,568 a year if they pay by direct debit 
  • £1,668 if they pay by standard credit (on receipt of their bill) 
  • £1,522 if they have a prepayment meter
Prices are worked out per unit of energy used. If you use more you will pay more. The exact rate and standing charge will depend on the region where you live.
 
From 1 April 2024 the Energy Price Guarantee no longer applies to households with a prepayment meter. Ofgem have announced that standing charges will be the same for prepayment and direct debit. This is known as 'levelisation'. 

You can read about energy price cap levels on the Ofgem website.
 
What is the Energy Price Cap?
The Energy Price Cap, which is set by the energy regulator Ofgem, 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
 
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
From 1 July 2024, the average energy bill for a household on a default tariff, or standard variable tariff, paying by direct debit will be around £1,568 per year but remember even if you are on a default tariff your bill will be determined by how much energy you use, so if you use more gas or electric your bill will be more than £1,568.  
 
 
Ofgem will review the Energy Price Cap for bills from 1 October 2024 - this means the price of energy might change again. This will be announced before October 2024.
 
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 2024.
 
 

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

There are no new Cost of Living support payments from the Government from 1 April 2024 but there is still help available 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.
  
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 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 0808 196 2424 
  • Warm and Safe Winter - if you are working age on 0800 038 5722 
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..
 
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

Here's our five tips:
 
1. Turn down your thermostat by 1°C and save around £105 a year on energy bills.
But to keep comfortable and stay safe we recommend staying above 18°C.
 
2. Switch your heating off when leaving the house for a few hours.
It’s cheaper to reheat your home than keep your heating on low when you’re out, unless you own a heat pump.
 
3. Keep the heat in: Fit draught-proofing strips to your windows and doors and save around £45 a year.
This can be a quick DIY job. Keeping extra heat in your home will leave you feeling warmer and more comfortable.
 
4. Get a hot water cylinder jacket and save roughly £50 a year on energy bills.
Jackets are easy to fit, typically cost under £30, and you’ll also spend less on a hot shower or bath in the future.
 
5. Keep furniture away from radiators and heaters to feel warmer at home.
Don’t overwork your system by blocking your source of heat and remember to remove radiator covers to get more value for money.
 
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 0808 278 7995 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm) or email us for support and advice.
 
First published 9 January 2024. Updated 9 April 2024 and 2 July 2024.

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