Struggling with your energy bills? Or know somebody that is? Green Doctors offer free telephone consultations to help residents save money on their household bills.
Green Doctors are certified and neutral energy advisers who can:
- help you understanding your heating system
- explain how to make your home more energy efficient
- tell you about energy saving devices
- offer impartial advice on switching fuel companies to save money
- give you income support and debt advice
- put you in touch with various services, including schemes providing funding for energy efficiency measures.
You are eligible for a Green Doctor consultation appointment if you:
- have disabilities or long-term health conditions
- are pregnant
- have children under 10 years
- have low income (below £16,190)
- have energy costs that are more than 10 per cent of the household income
- are on benefits
- have recently lost your job or income.
For a free telephone consultation and more information call 0300 365 5003.
Energy Price Guarantee
The Energy Price Guarantee limits the unit rates for gas and electricity you can be charged by your supplier.
Your exact bill amount will continue to be influenced by how much energy you use. There is no “cap” on the overall bill - only on the price of each unit used.
This measure is in addition to the other support available for your energy bills which you can find out more about below.
The Energy Price Guarantee will be extended from April 2023 until April 2024. Over this period a typical household bill in Great Britain will be reduced to around £3,000.
You do not need to apply and there is no need to contact your energy supplier.
Visit the Money Saving Expert website to calculate how much your energy bills could be with the Energy Price Guarantee.
Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS)
Households will get £400 of support with their energy bills through an expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme.
As well as doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year, the full £400 payment will now be made as a grant, which will not be recovered through higher bills in future years.
Energy suppliers will deliver this support to households with a domestic electricity meter over six months from October 2022.
Direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account
Customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher. Vouchers will expire after 3 months, but you can contact your energy supplier to re-issue them. All vouchers must be redeemed by 30 June 2023.
This support is in addition to the council tax energy rebate.
Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding
The government have announced support through the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) Alternative Funding. The scheme is to provide equivalent support to domestic households who have not automatically received EBSS support as they do not have a domestic electricity supply contract.
Alternative Fuel Payment Fund (AF)
If your household is not connected to mains gas, and you use alternative fuels as your main form of heating, you may be eligible for a £200 payment.
This is in addition to £400 from your electricity supplier. You can apply for this payment on GOV.UK if you have not received it and think you should have.
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
Pensioner households will receive an extra £300 this year to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. The Winter Fuel Payment (including the extra Pensioner Cost-of-Living Payment) is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. See Cost of Living Payments - GOV.UK
Royal British Legion (RBL) Cost of Living Grant
In October 2022, RBL launched a Cost of Living Grants programme to assist members of the Armed Forces community who need help in a quick and easy way.
Applications will be considered for 6months of support for energy costs.
To find out more and apply visit RBL Cost of Living Grant.
Your energy supplier can help
Your energy supplier can work with you to agree on a payment plan so do contact your supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your energy bills.
More information about how to do this can be found on the Ofgem website:
- getting help if you can't afford your energy bills
- find schemes, grants and benefits to help with home energy
- switching energy tariff or supplier
Drop in at a virtual energy cafe
Get advice on energy efficiency or if you’re struggling with bills. Sessions are open to all H&F residents.
Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS) – one of H&F’s official repairs and maintenance contractors – hold regular advice sessions for residents about energy issues, including if you’re struggling to pay your bills or need extra support.
These sessions can be delivered over the phone, virtually, or face to face and occur on the first Wednesday of each month from 11am to 12.30pm.
Those running the sessions have passed a Level 3 qualification in Energy Awareness with National Energy Action, enabling them to advise residents on the following:
- what to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills
- making sure your home is energy efficient
- keeping your home free from condensation and mould growth
- the best boiler controls for heating your home efficiently
- grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills
- signposting for extra support to other agencies.
To book a session, please contact CSRbox@morgansindall.com
Other help with fuel bills
Visit GOV.UK to find out about the:
- Winter Fuel Payment – This is usually paid automatically if you’re eligible.
- Warm Home Discount Scheme – You may be eligible for a £150 rebate on your winter electricity bills
- Cold Weather Payment – You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits
Find out about other schemes to help with your energy bills on GOV.UK.
Customers with prepayment meters who are struggling to top up their meter should contact their supplier immediately to discuss options.
If your supplier can’t help, you may be eligible for a one-off voucher through our Household Support Fund allocation from the Department of Work and Pensions.
You can receive up to 3 £30 vouchers in a 6-month period (£49 vouchers during the winter).
If you're struggling financially and are close to being disconnected or have little or no credit on your pre-payment meter please contact the following numbers and one of our advisors will discuss your situation with you.
If you need urgent support with fuel payments please call the cost-of-living crisis team on our free phone number 0800 917 6994. The line is open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can also contact the team using our cost-of-living enquiry form which will enable us to respond to you quicker.
Council tenants please call the Housing Income Team on 020 8753 5566.
If you are in temporary accommodation or are a private tenant please call H&F Link on 020 8753 1587.
If you are in receipt of Council Tax Support and or housing benefit please call the contact centre on 020 8753 6681.
If you would like to sign up to a session, please contact CSRbox@morgansindall.com
Moving from prepayment to a credit meter
If you have an old-style prepayment meter, you can ask your energy supplier to replace it with either an old-style credit meter or a smart meter.
Learn how to on the Citizens Advice website.
Are you getting all the help and support available for your water bill?
Water bill assistance
Bills for tenants and leaseholders now come direct from Thames Water, but you may qualify for discounts or reductions, and you can call the water company to discuss it.
You may be eligible for a discount if:
- you don't have a water meter
- you live in a single household
- your income is less that £21,749 per annum
- you have a medical condition that requires higher usage
- you receive means tested benefits
- you have 3 children or more.
Thames Water schemes
Thames Water has a number of schemes to help lower your water bill.
WaterHelp - 50 per cent discount on your bill if your annual household income is less than £21,749.
WaterSure - An annual cap of £456 on your bill if you're on a meter and use a larger amount of water because you have a big family or a water dependent medical condition. You may also be eligible if you receive means tested benefits or live in a single person household.
Water Direct - If you’re falling behind on your bills, Water Direct can help you by combining your yearly bill with any other bill arrears into one weekly
Contact the Thames Water Special Care team on 0800 0093 652 to discuss your circumstances and check if you are eligible. The lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.
Mencap easy read guides
Visit the Mencap website for more guidance and advice to support you through the cost of living crisis.