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Cost of Living Guide - Managing Your Energy Bills Part 1

Published on 28 July 2022 05:58 PM

Cost of Living Guide

With the cost of living having an impact on everyone's energy bills, it's important to be aware of the steps you can take to help make your energy bills more affordable.

There’s lots of support that is available to help protect Islington residents against rising energy prices.  Age UK Islington has put together a guide to let you know:

  • What financial help you might be eligible to receive and why pension credit is so important, yet often goes unclaimed
  • Help available from utility companies, including potential discounts and other support; what to do if you are in trouble paying your bill
  • What else you can do to reduce your energy costs and bills

Part 1 of this guide is published here, but you can download the full guide at the bottom of this page.

Part 1: Financial Support You Might Be Eligible to Receive & Why Pension Credit is so Important

Cost of Living Payments:

If you’re finding it hard to keep up with energy payments or worried you won’t be able to afford the energy you need this winter, you might be entitled to financial support. This ‘Help with the Cost of Living Payments’ guide from Age UK is a great place to start. These payments are made automatically without having to apply for them, for those who are receiving certain benefits.

>Find out more in this Age UK Cost of Living Payments guide:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/debt-savings/energy/cost-of-living-payments/

Find Out What Benefits You Are Eligible For:

>To find out what benefits you might be eligible for, you can use this free online calculator.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/benefits-calculator/

Are You Eligible for Pension Credit?

If you are over state pension age and living on a low income, we would urge you to check if you are entitled to Pension Credit.  This is extra money to help you cover your costs (to top up your income). You might be able to get it even if you have other income, savings, or assets.

The important thing to remember, is that by claiming Pension Credit, you might unlock other benefits too, such as help with health and housing costs and TV licenses. Don’t be put off claiming Pension Credit – even if you are only entitled to a nominal amount, it is worth claiming, as in doing so it may entitle you to other financial help.

If you are looking to apply for Pension Credit, it is a good idea to do this now. Online or telephone applications are often processed quicker, but there are delays in the processing of these applications by the Department for Work and Pensions, due to a backlog.

>Find out more about Pension Credit in this guide from Age UK:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/information-guides/ageukig50_pension_credit_inf.pdf

Council Tax Support

You might be entitled to Council Tax Support if you are on a low income or are receiving benefits (such as Jobseekers Allowance, or Income Support).

>For more information, see the Islington Council website: https://www.islington.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/council-tax-support

Household Support Fund

This is a funding package to help people on low incomes from Islington Council. 

More than 7,000 low-income pensioners who receive Council Tax Support, will receive an award of £110 from the council. 

4,500 of the borough’s poorest households and care leavers aged 25 or under, will receive £100 awards, equivalent to one week’s worth of essential purchases for the average household. Those who face the most exceptional housing costs will also be helped. This will be paid directly to those with the lowest incomes who are eligible.

Support payments will be made automatically to qualifying households, residents do not need to do anything. Payments have already started to be made and will continue through to the end of September.  

This support follows the announcement earlier in the year of the Discretionary Council Tax Rebate scheme that provided help to 26,500 Islington households who were registered to be in receipt of Council Tax Support on the 1 April 2022. All credits were planned to be made by the end of August.

£150 + £62.50 was made available to households in Council Tax bands A-D (in two payments) and £212.50 (in one payment) to eligible households in Council Tax bands E-H. This was paid directly into people’s bank accounts, where their bank account details were held by the council, or if not, as a credit to their Council Tax bills.

If your Council tax account has credit in it, you can call Islington Council directly on 020 7527 2633 (if you’re finding it difficult to get through, try calling in the mornings) to apply to get this money paid out to you.  Or you can go to the Islington Council website to use this online form.

Join our monthly Let's Talk sessions

For a regular update about local support and the financial support that's available, why not book to attend our monthly Let's Talk sessions?  They are currently taking place on Zoom. For more information and to book, see the Let's Talk webpage.

Useful Contact Numbers

Department of Work and Pensions - Universal Credit Enquiry Line: telephone 0800 328 5644 or for other ways of contacting them, see the webpage.

Department of Work and Pensions - Pension Credit Enquiry Line: telephone 0800 99 1234 or for other ways of contacting them, see the webpage.

Age UK Islington Helpline: 020 7281 6018 / gethelp@ageukislington.org.uk (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).

Islington Carers Hub Helpline: 020 7281 6018 / 3319 info@islingtoncarershub.org (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).

Age UK Islington - Cost of Living Guide - Managing Your Energy Bills (full guide)