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Cost-of-living: Help with your utilities' bills!

A man adjusting his home thermostat while reading his energy bill

5 September 2022

A man adjusting his home thermostat while reading his energy bill
All Powys households are to receive £400 towards their energy bills this winter, through an expansion of the UK Government's Energy Bills Support Scheme.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: wrteam@powys.gov.uk

Debt advice is also available from:

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