If you are concerned about rising energy bills and prices during this unprecedented time, please find information below about the support available and some tips to help keep your house warm over the winter months.
Benefits and Cost of Living Payments
There are a number of benefits available to you if you are on a low income or unable to work due to a health condition.
In 2023 to 2024 you may be able to get a Cost of Living Payment if you are getting certain benefits.
You do not need to apply. If you are eligible you will be paid automatically in the same way as your benefit.
If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.
You can find out more about cost of living payments on the government page here.
There are places across the UK where you can get free or cheap food.
Trussell Trust operate food banks but you'll need a referral. Find out more here: Find a Food Bank - The Trussell Trust
You do not need a referral to use:
- Your local pantry
- Community fridges
- Community meals form FoodCycle
- Food bags from Bread and Butter thing
You can get in touch with your local authority to request further support with food. Find your local council - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Most of us are feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. It's important during this uncertain time to look after our mental health. Our mental health pages have information on coping strategies, support available from the British Liver Trust, and other sources of support.
Energy saving tips
With energy prices rising, it's important to find ways to save energy. Here are some tips below.
Keep an eye on your thermostat as each degree you turn it up adds to your bill. The Energy Saving Trust recommend setting your thermostat between 18°C and 21°C
You can also turn off radiators and keep doors shut in rooms you don’t use. A draught excluder in the rooms you do use will help keep the warm air in.
Washing your clothes at lower temperatures and less frequently can also help reduce your energy bills. A wash at 30°C uses around 40% less electricity than higher temperature washes.
Switching off lights when they’re not being used is not the only way you can reduce energy usage in your home.
If you are using traditional light bulbs in your home, switching to LED light bulbs, which are four to five times more efficient, can save you up to £240 per year.
An oven uses more energy than other cooking appliances so you can save money by doing more meals using the stove, pressure cooker, slow cooker or microwave.
According to USwitch, cooking a casserole in a slow cooker will cost 22p compared to 54p in the oven, and a baked potato cooked in the microwave costs 3p compared to 27p in the oven.
When you’re not using chargers, make sure they are unplugged as they may be using electricity. Similarly, TVs, game consoles and tv boxes left on standby are also using electricity.
General information and advice
- Money menu page
- Citizens Advice Bureau - Citizens Advice
- Step change independent advice about deb. stepchange.org
- Cost of living support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and Cost of living crisis - Cost of Living Support Scotland (campaign.gov.scot) Government website
- For people on benefits, you can ask your provider for broadband and media about social tariffs
- If you are struggling to pay your mortgage you can get help with Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme information on Support for Mortgage Interest
- If you are struggling to pay your rent, speak to Citizens Advice or your local authority to find out what support may be available for you