Help & Advice on Fuel Poverty

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Help & Advice on Fuel Poverty

This information to assist customers to find help with fuel poverty and how to refer on to appropriate agencies.
What is fuel poverty?

Fuel poverty is when you cannot afford to heat your home. This can mean living in a cold, damp house, struggling to pay your fuel bills – or both. Households are usually considered to be in fuel poverty when they spend more than 10% of their total household income to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort.

Warm Home Discount Scheme (Electricity Suppliers)

Pension Guarantee Credit customers Will automatically qualify for this energy rebate if on the qualifying date of 11 September 2011, they got only the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (no Savings Credit) their name, or their partner’s name was on the electricity bill and their electricity account was with one of the energy suppliers participating in this scheme.

Broader Group Customers;
Basic eligibility criteria
Customers need to receive one of the following benefits in order to qualify
• Income Support
• Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance which has a work-related activity component or support component

If they do receive one of these benefits, they may qualify for the rebate if one of the following also applies:

• They have a child under the age of five
• They receive Child Tax Credit with a disability or severe disability component
• They receive a disabled child premium
• They receive a disability, enhanced disability or severe disability premium
• They receive a pension premium, higher pension premium or enhanced pension premium

Warm Home Discount Scheme Helpline – 0845 603 9439.

N.E.S.T.

Nest is the Welsh Government’s fuel poverty scheme, managed by British Gas, which aims to help people in Wales reduce the impact of their fuel bills. Nest offers a range of advice through expert partners, as well as a full home energy assessment and home improvements for the most energy inefficient homes – at no cost to the householder.
Nest offers lots of free, impartial help and advice about benefit entitlement, making sure you’re on the right fuel tariff, managing money, and schemes across Wales that offer home improvements at no cost or low cost to you.
0800 512 012 from a landline
0300 456 2655 from a mobile phone
Website: www.nestwales.org.uk

Speak Easy – Energy Advice Centre

Offer face-to-face and telephone advice on dealing with fuel debt, saving energy at home, keeping warm, managing bills, or where to get further specialist help if needed, including assistance with applications for grants,
Referrals for free insulation and advice on fuel debt and how to save energy

Energy Advice Project
Speakeasy Advice Centre
166 Richmond Road
Cardiff
CF24 3BX
TEL: 029 2045 3111
FAX: 029 2045 1064
E: speakeasyenergyadvice @gmail.com
www.speakeasyadvice.co.uk

Riverside Advice Energy Advice Project
Based at Riverside Advice the Energy Advice Project works to
combat fuel poverty in South Wales.
They aim to improve client understanding of how to manage their energy use and bill payments, and where to get further specialist help and support if needed.

Riverside Advice
41a Lower Cathedral Road
Riverside
Cardiff
CF11 6LW
Tel: 029 2034 1577
Fax: 029 2039 7775
www.riverside-advice.co.uk

The Home Heat Helpline

This is a free not for profit phone line set up to help energy customers who are struggling to pay their fuel bill and keep warm and give advice to low income households in urgent need of heating help and advice. Advisors can give advice on grants, benefits and payment schemes along with information about basic steps that can be taken to save money on heating bills by making a home more energy efficient

Home Heat helpline Tel; number – 0800 33 66 99

British Gas Energy Trust

The Trust accepts applications from individuals and families requesting help to clear energy debts and also in exceptional circumstances other essential household debts and costs. Applications to the Trust are assessed by a team of experienced grants assessors who consider an applicant’s situation holistically and target the funds to those who are in greatest need.
The Trust awards grants to:
 Clear domestic gas and electricity debts
 Clear other priority debts, including water and sewerage (known as Further Assistance Payments (FAP))
 Purchase essential household items (known as Further Assistance Payments (FAP))

Further Assistance Payments
The following are examples of the types of Further Assistance Payments you can apply for.
Council Tax Debts – Payment will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances.
Other Utility Debts – Payment may be considered where you can show that clearing these debts will enable you to budget better for your current bills.
Telephone Debts – Payments for these debts may be considered where there is a serious social or medical need for the phone to remain connected or to be reconnected.
Household items – Payments for items such as cookers, washing machines or refrigerators may be made where a special need for the item is shown. The Trust should not be seen as an alternative to Social Fund Community Care Grants.
Boiler Repairs / Replacement – Payment will be considered in exceptional circumstances, particularly where supporting letters from appropriate professionals confirming the need are provided.
Bankruptcy Deposits / Debt Relief Orders (DRO) – Applicants must not have previously been declared bankrupt nor be a home owner. Bankruptcy applications will not be considered from those with assets above a value of £1,000 and total debts less than £15,000.

DRO applications MUST include the ID number generated from the Insolvency Service’s online application process.
Funeral expenses – A payment may be considered where outstanding funeral expenses are causing hardship.
Rent debts – Payment will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances.
Freepost RRZJ-XBSY-GYRG
British Gas Energy Trust
PO Box 42
Peterborough PE3 8XH
Application form request line – 01733 421060
Email – bget@charisgrants.com
www.britishgasenergytrust.org.u

Care and Repair

Cardiff’s Affordable Warmth Casework Service is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and aims to alleviate fuel poverty for older people living in Cardiff by providing advice support and assistance regarding
• Potential repair and maintenance works that could be undertaken to improve the energy efficiency of their homes
• Energy saving measures and tips that can be undertaken to use energy more efficiently within their home environment
• Purchasing fuel and energy more appropriately
• Increasing income by identifying any unclaimed benefits or potential annuities older people may be eligible for
For more information about this scheme please contact
Helen Ball – 02920 468427
E mail – helen.ball@ccha.org.uk
Care and Repair – 0300 111 3333
www.careandrepair.org.uk

Age UK Energy Advice

Age UK Energy is a tailor made gas and electricity package developed and provided by E.ON Energy Solutions Limited.
£60 reward is split £50 for electricity and £10 for gas, payable once only and credited to your account after 12 months of continuous supply on Age UK Energy with reward. Offer not available to existing Dual Fuel customers or those with prepayment and restricted hours tariff meters.

To buy Age UK Energy call 0800 015 6784
Apply online – www.eonenergy.com/ageukenergy

Social Tariffs – For Vulnerable Customers

All energy providers have to offer social tariffs to help their most vulnerable customers cope with the high costs of gas and electricity. And according to new Ofgem rules, all social tariffs must equal the supplier’s cheapest deals.
If customers are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of heating of their home, they can contact their provider and see if they can be moved to a cheaper tariff?
www.energychoices.co.uk/social-tariffs

British Gas

The Essentials tariff from is the UK’s largest social tariff, aimed at reducing the gas and electricity bills of 750,000 of the company’s most vulnerable customers.
The aim is to offer vulnerable customers the lowest standard gas and electricity prices – which are normally inaccessible to people who don’t have a bank account. And all those customers who are registered for the British Gas Winter Rebate scheme will automatically be moved onto the Essentials tariff.
www.britishgas.co.uk

E. ON

E.ON’s social tariff StayWarm is specifically designed to help vulnerable customers over the age of 60. It is a fixed-price tariff that keeps costs the same for the 12-months after you’ve signed up.
The price you pay depends on how many people there are in your home and the number of bedrooms it has. All StayWarm customers must pay by monthly direct debit and the tariff is only available to those who are, or have someone over 60 years living in their home; have three bedrooms or less; have four or less people living in their home and take both gas and electricity from E.ON.
www.eonenergy.com

EDF Energy

EDF Energy Assist gives vulnerable customers a 15% discount on EDF’s standard energy prices
The tariff is applied directly to those customers with standard or Economy 7 meters while those with prepayment or complex metering will automatically receive a rebate each year.
www.edfenergy.com

npower

If your annual income is less than £13,500 you might be eligible for the Spreading Warmth tariff from, which offers discounts to customers on a low income and with someone in the household aged over 60, disabled, suffering from a chronic illness or under 16 years old.
The Spreading Warmth tariff delivers a dual fuel discount of up to £250 (£125 per fuel) that is applied quarterly in discounts of £31.25 per fuel.
If you’re not eligible for the Spreading Warmth tariff but are struggling to keep up with your bill payments you can still get help from npower’s First Step scheme. First Step advisors will work with you on a one-to-one basis to help you manage your bills and set up a personal payment plan that suits your circumstances.
You will also be evaluated to see if you’re eligible for help from the Fits Step fund which could write off some, or all, of your energy debt as long as you continue making regular, agreed payments.
www.npower.com

Scottish Power

Scottish Power Carefree Plus social tariff, offers eligible customers a saving of up to £112 a year on their energy bill. Customers on the new tariff will also be able to have free insulation work done on their homes
Scottish Power is also offering to offset the impact of increases over the winter months for vulnerable customers on its Carefree Priority Services Register. This will take the form of an average credit of £22 for gas and £9 for electricity to these customers’ accounts.
www.scottishpower.co.uk

Scottish & Southern

EnergyPlus Care from Scottish & Southern offers those customers experiencing fuel poverty a 20% discount on their current fuel prices – regardless of which payment method they use.
As well as the discounted energy, customers on Scottish & Southern’s social tariff will receive free energy efficiency advice to help them save on future bills
www.scottish-southern.co.uk

Welsh Water Bill Assistance

Welsh Water Assist provides financial assistance to low income households with either large families, or a medical condition requiring high water use by capping your charges at £120 for water and £120 for sewerage. Customers may be eligible to apply if any member of the household receives any one of the following benefits/tax credits:
• Income support
• Income-based job seekers allowance
• Council tax benefit (not sole occupancy or disabled relief)
• Pension credit
• Income related employment & support allowance
• Housing benefit
• Child tax credit (other than family element)
• Working tax credit.

And in addition either receive child benefit for three or more children under 19 living at the same address and still in full-time education, or you or any members of your household have one of the following medical conditions, which require significant extra water use:

• Incontinence
• Ulcerative colitis
• Desquamation (flaky skin disease)
• Renal failure – requiring home dialysis (except LA contribution)
• Abdominal stoma
• Crohn’s Disease
• Weeping skin disease (eczema, psoriasis, varicose ulceration)
• Any other condition which requires significant water use.

Other medical conditions can be accepted if the condition uses significant amounts of water and is supported by a signed certificate issued by a Doctor or registered practitioner.
Telephone 0800 052 0145 for further information and an application form
Or download an application form on www.dwrcymru.com

If you have any comments / questions about this, please get in touch with us.
Cllr Dilwar Ali
Email: Dilwar.Ali@cardiff.gov.uk, Mobile: 07734 880397 – Tel: 2062 4134
Cllr Siobhan Corria
Email: Siobhan.Corria@cardiff.gov.uk, Mobile: 07805 305925 – Tel: 2056 9086

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