Households to lower thermostat as energy bills rise – list of support

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Some 43 percent of Britons admit that they will lower their thermostat this year, with around a third sharing that they will only heat some rooms in the house. A recent survey carried out by Uswitch.com is revealing how families are preparing to cope this winter as energy bills increase by 27 percent on average. In light of the cost of living crisis, households are turning to different support payments and discounts to get by.

Thanks to the Government’s energy price guarantee scheme, the average household cost of a unit of gas and electricity will be capped.

This means that a home with average energy consumption will pay around £2,500 for the year.

Despite this support, energy bills are still expected to rise by 27 percent as last month which will place further pressure on families at a time of high inflation.

However, recent Government cost of living payments and bill concessions are available which can significantly relieve pressure for those most in need.

Examples of the energy bill support which is available to households,include:

  • Warm Home Discount – automatic £150 reduction for bills for those on benefits via supplier
  • Cold Weather Payments – £25 for eligible households hit by periods of extremely cold weather
  • Winter Fuel Payments – annual payments of up to £600 for older people on low income3Fuel voucher – support for prepayment customers who cannot afford to top up their meter
  • Grants – Multiple suppliers, including British Gas, offer households financial support

It should be noted that those in receipt of the qualifying means-tested benefit payments will be able to get £324 this winter as part of the Government’s £650 cost of living payment.

Furthermore, pensioners and those with a disability are able to claim cost of living payments worth £300 and £150, respectively.

On top of this, all households are entitled to the Government’s £400 energy bill grant this winter.

With the energy price guarantee due to end in April 2023, much of the listed support will be essential for households in the year to come.

However, recent Government cost of living payments and energy bill concessions may be available which can significantly relieve pressure for those most in need.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, families who turn their thermostats down by just one degree could reduce bills by up to 10 percent.

Richard Neudegg, the director of regulation at Uswitch.com, added: “Heating our homes is the biggest contributor to energy bills over the winter months, and costs are much higher than last year.

“It’s clear that many households know they need to change their energy habits at home and are actively seeking to reduce their usage, such as by turning down the thermostat.

“We’ve also experienced higher than average temperatures in October – so many households will have delayed turning their heating on for the winter.

“However, the limited official guidance around energy usage, coupled with rising living costs across the board, is driving some families towards extreme behaviours.”

The finance expert shared how people can keep on top of their energy usage and learn how to save better.

Mr Neudegg explained: “Trying to survive the winter without any heating is a known health risk, so this is especially worrying if people feel they don’t have any choice in this matter.

“Reducing usage is a good option to save money, but households need to know how to change their energy habits in a safe and manageable way.

“This is one of the reasons why we’ve launched our app, Utrack by Uswitch – to help people better understand their home energy consumption.

“Anyone who is worried about paying their energy bills this winter should contact their energy supplier, who can offer advice and support.”

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