Cost-of-living: Help with your utilities' bills!
5 September 2022
This grant will be deducted from what you owe by your energy supplier, over six months from October, if you are a direct debit or credit customer; or it will be applied to your electricity meter or paid via a voucher if you have pre-payment meters.
Households on a range of means tested benefits will also receive a payment of £650 this year, made in two instalments; while pensioner households will receive an extra £300; and people getting disability benefits will receive a one-off payment of £150 from September.
- UK Government cost-of-living support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-living-support/cost-of-living-support-factsheet-26-may-2022
You can also get help if you are struggling to pay your energy bills, or topping up your pre-payment meter, by speaking to your energy supplier. This could include help through the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which is due to reopen again in November.
- Warm Home Discount Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
If you were born before 26 September 1956, you are also likely to be able to claim a Winter Fuel Payment, an annual one-off sum of between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.
- Winter Fuel Payment: https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
Cold Weather Payments are also available to help pay for extra heating costs when it is very cold, if you already get Pension Credits, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit.
- Cold Weather Payments: https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
The Welsh Government is also offering a one-off £200 payment towards paying winter fuel bills, which is in addition to the support being offered by the UK Government. The scheme is due to open on 26 September and households receiving a wider range of benefits will be eligible.
- Wales winter fuel support scheme: https://gov.wales/wales-winter-fuel-support-scheme-2022-2023
If you are having difficulty paying your water bill, you should contact your supplier. Help could include a £230 reduction, if you are a family receiving means-tested free school meals or a Cost of Living Support Scheme payment.
- Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water - support with bills: https://www.dwrcymru.com/en/support-with-bills
- Hafren Dyfrdwy - help with paying your bill: https://www.hdcymru.co.uk/my-account/help-when-you-need-it/help-with-paying-your-bill/
If you are concerned about paying your broadband or mobile phone bill, you should contact your supplier, as they may be able to put a payment plan or other support in place to help you stay connected.
If you are unable to keep up with your credit card, loan or mortgage repayments, your creditors may agree to a short-term payment holiday, or if you talk to a professional debt advisor you may be able to access Breathing Space - when no enforcement action can be taken or charges added - through the Debt Respite Scheme. Powys County Council's Money Advice Service can help with debt queries, through an online form: Need help with Benefits, Budgeting, Debt or Fuel Costs? Or you can call 01874 612153 or email: email@example.com
Debt advice is also available from:
- Powys Citizens Advice: https://www.powyscitizensadvice.org.uk/ Call: 0345 6018421(Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9am - 3pm) Write to: Citizens Advice Powys, Ladywell House, Newtown, Powys, SY16 1QS.
- Advicelink Cymru: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/about-us/our-work/advice-partnerships/advicelink-cymru/ Call: 0800 702 2020 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm) Relay UK (if you can't hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 08082 505 720.
Further advice on help with the cost-of-living is also available on the Welsh Government's website: https://gov.wales/get-help-cost-living