‘Take advantage!’ Pensioners could secure vital help with energy bills

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Many pensioners will be getting by on a limited income amid the rising cost of living. It may mean difficulties with affording rising energy bills, which are set to soar even higher this winter.

Those who are finding it difficult to afford their bills or top up their prepayment meter could be entitled to support.

Citizens Advice has explained Britons could “take advantage” of certain benefits and grants offered by both energy supplier and the Government.

Currently, individuals can get £150 back from their local council in a council tax rebate.

The rebate was introduced by the Government as a way to help people with the rising cost of energy.

Individuals are eligible if they pay council tax and their home is in council tax bands A to D. 

Those who aren’t eligible may benefit from a discretionary fund provided by the Government to local councils.

It offers support to any household in financial need, regardless of their council tax band.

All UK households, including pensioners, are set to receive a grant which will reduce energy bills by £400 from October.

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People will not have to do anything to get this money, and will also not be required to pay it back.

The sum will be automatically added to a person’s energy account over six months starting from October.

Pensioners could also gain support from the Warm Home Discount Scheme. 

Those who are in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit will be eligible for £140 off their electricity bill this winter.

The money is not paid to individuals, and instead serves as a one-off discount between October and March.

Individuals do not need to apply, and can expect a letter later this year detailing what the scheme involves.

Similarly, the Winter Fuel Payment could provide help with the cost of energy for older people.

Eligible people born on or before September 25, 1956 could get between £250 and £600 to help pay heating bills.

The amount people get includes a one-off pensioner cost of living payment worth between £150 and £300 being issued this year.

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Citizens Advice explains some people may be able to get a fuel voucher to help them pay for their energy.

This is if a person either:

  • Uses a prepayment meter
  • Does not use gas or electricity for heating

A fuel voucher is given as a code in a letter, text message or email and a person can then use it to add credit to their gas card or electricity key.

A number of energy suppliers also offer grants to help people pay off debt, including British Gas, Scottish Power, Ovo, Octopus, EON, Bulb and EDF.

Citizens Advice added: “If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. 

“These grants are available to anyone – you don’t have to be a British Gas customer. You’ll need to get debt advice before applying.”

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