Understanding the rise in energy prices and the support available

If you’re worried about the rise in energy prices, you are certainly not alone. Recent research has shown that 59% of households report being worried about increased energy prices meaning they have less money to buy enough food for themselves/their family.

Millions of households are expecting a sharp increase in their energy bills from April but understanding support available can be confusing. Here we’ve pulled together information to help you navigate the months ahead.

New support announced from central government

All households will receive an automatic £200 off their energy bills in the Autumn

This planned loan will come into place in from Autumn 2022. It is being commonly referred to as a 'loan' but this scheme is not optional, it will be automatically applied to every household.

The scheme means your bill will be reduced by £200 or you'll be given a bill credit. If you are on pre-pay this will be paid through your smart meter or you will be given a voucher or a cheque. This will happen automatically for every household in the UK. Then from the following April, and from 5 years after that you will then have, automatically, your bill increased by £40 a year.

Council tax refund

In England, council taxpayers in properties falling in bands A-D will get a £150 refund in April. Those who pay by direct debit will automatically receive £150 in their bank account. For other customers, the Treasury says: “Councils will be ready to process their claims in April.”

Support available from existing schemes

Warm home discount scheme

The scheme currently offers a £140 discount to those on certain benefits during the winter months. The government has confirmed it is going ahead with previously announced proposals to expand eligibility for the scheme by almost a third, so that 3 million households will now benefit, as well as a planned £10 uplift to £150 from October. You can find more information on the scheme here.

Winter Fuel Payment

A £100 to £300 fuel payment for people born on or before 5 October 1954.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to tackle fuel poverty and help reduce carbon emissions. It requires energy suppliers to promote the installation of measures that lead to financial savings on energy bills, such as the installation of insulation and heating measures. Find out more about eligibility here.

Local support and advice

Keep Shropshire Warm

Keep Shropshire warm is a free, impartial energy advice service run by Marches Energy Agency and Shropshire Council. They can help with:

  • general energy billing and fuel debt concerns

  • switching energy tariffs to save money

  • getting residents on the Priority Services Register, so they are prioritised in the event of a power cut

  • applications for the Warm Home Discount scheme

  • referrals for benefits checks with Age UK and Citizens Advice, to help residents access more energy grants and gain help with their bills.

Call 0800 112 3743 or email advice@mea.org.uk

Shropshire Council Welfare Support Team

Shropshire Council’s Welfare Support Team may be able to help with a number of essential costs including:

  • Food

  • Energy and water

  • Essentials linked to energy and water (e.g. cookers, fridges, freezers, cooking equipment, sanitary products, soap, warm clothing, blankets, boiler service and repair)

  • Wider essentials (eg phone bills, broadband, other clothing, school uniform, essential transport-related costs, other essential furniture - this list is not exhaustive)

Call 0345 678 9078

Community Resource Shropshire oil buying club

Community Resource organises the largest bulk oil buying scheme in Shropshire. Once a month they collate oil orders from right across Shropshire on a specified date so that residents can access the lower oil prices.

Citizens Advice Shropshire

Citizens Advice Shropshire can advise on a wide range of issues. Call the free advice line on 0808 278 7894 .Line open 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.

No Interest Loans Scheme

NILS purchases essential items direct from local, small businesses on behalf of people experiencing financial hardship, who then repay the loan at zero interest over a maximum of 24 months.