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Support with your Energy Bills

 
There’s lots of small changes you can make to save money on your energy bills.
 
On this page you can find:
 
Greater Manchester residents eligible for free tailored advice, support, and home improvements
Government Support for your Energy Bills
Household Support Fund
Warm Welcome Hubs
Energy Supplier Hardship Funds
Advice on Energy Bills by Switching Suppliers 
Support to Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Simple Tips to Save Energy and Money
Support with Other Bills



Greater Manchester residents eligible for free tailored advice, support, and home improvements to lower their energy bills and make their homes greener.

Lower BillsGreater Manchester Combined Authority and a range of partners are joining forces to help residents across the city-region improve their homes, making them cheaper to heat and better for the environment.

Heating your home leads to a big increase in energy bills, not to mention having the largest negative impact on the environment, with heating of homes and other buildings accounting for around 37% of the United Kingdom’s carbon emissions. So to mitigate the impact of climate change we all need to improve the efficiency of our homes – there are many ways to do this, including improving loft and wall insulation, installing better windows and low carbon heating technologies, and making other improvements to the fabric of our homes. But advice and support can often be confusing, with it being hard to figure out what works best for your home, understand potential costs and savings, or find a trusted installer.

To help you make the change, Greater Manchester Combined Authority is joining with a range of trusted partners offering free, tailored advice to help residents right across the city-region understand what improvements they could make to their homes – and what discounted or free upgrades they could be eligible to received based on their circumstances. Anyone living in Greater Manchester can check their eligibility now by visiting the Greater Manchester Energy Scheme Checker: https://gmca.retrofitportal.org.uk/home




Government Support for your Energy Bills

The Energy Price Guarantee

Households without a pre-payment meter in Great Britain

From 1 July 2023, households without a pre-payment meter no longer receive an Energy Price Guarantee discount on their gas and electricity bills.

This is because the Ofgem price cap is lower than the Energy Price Guarantee level, meaning households will pay rates capped by the price cap.

For the period of October to December 2023, the Ofgem price cap has been set at £1,834 for a typical household per year. This represented a further fall in the cost of mains gas and electricity from the previous period, which stood at £2.074 for the period of July to September 2023.

The Energy Price Guarantee will remain in place as a safety net until the end of March 2024 should energy prices increase above £3,000 per year.
 

Households with a pre-payment meter in Great Britain

As announced in the government’s Spring Budget, the Energy Price Guarantee is being used to align costs for comparable prepayment meter (PPM) and direct debit customers, ensuring that PPM users no longer pay a premium for their energy.
Between June and September, the PPM premium was removed by providing PPM customers a unit rate discount, saving around £21 per year.
From 1 October 2023 onwards there is a change in how the discount is delivered. Instead of being delivered via a discount to unit rates, it is delivered via a discount to the standing charges. This ensures low usage customers are fully supported by the Energy Price Guarantee. A typical PPM customer will save around £40 per year.
Some tariffs have no standing charge. Instead, these tariffs will have a higher cost to an initial number of units to compensate for the standing charge cost. If you’re on a tariff with no standing charge, you’ll get the equivalent discount applied to the initial units. This has been calculated to ensure you get a fair level of discount.
 

For more information on this visit - Energy Price Guarantee - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


 
The Cold Weather Payment
If you get certain benefits or Support for Mortgage interest, you could receive a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as below zero degrees, 7 days in a row.
Find out more www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
 
Warm Home Discount Scheme
For more information and eligibility please visit www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
 
The Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This will continue into winter 2023 to 2024.
Visit www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment for more information and to make a claim.
 
 

Household Support Fund

You can receive support with energy and water bills (max £200 per household) or essentials linked to energy and water (max £50 per person).
Updates on applications for the fund can be found at visit www.tameside.gov.uk/householdsupportfund
 

Warm Welcome Hubs

Warm Welcome Spaces
Our libraries offer so much more beyond books, they provide a warm, safe and welcoming space for everyone.
Find out more on www.tameside.gov.uk/helpinghand/warm-welcome-hub
To find other Warm Welcome Space’s nationally please visit www.warmwelcome.uk
 
Council Tax Rebate for Energy Discretionary Scheme
Assistance for energy bill payers who:
  • Do not have a Council Tax liability and are not included in the mandatory rebate for energy scheme; or
  • Are fleeing situations of domestic violence experiencing hardship; or
  • Households in all Council Tax Bands A-H evidencing hardship. 
 

Energy Supplier Hardship Funds

 
If you are in debt to your energy supplier, they may be able help you by paying off the debt through their hardship funds. Some energy providers can also help to provide replacement appliances where needed.
 
The following suppliers offer grants to their customers:
 
British Gas Energy Trust 
 
Scottish Power Hardship Fund
 
Ovo Energy Fund 
 
E.ON Energy Fund 
 
E.ON Next Energy Fund
 
EDF Energy Customer Support Fund
 
Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’ 
 
If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, check if you can get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer.

 

Advice on Energy Bills by Switching Suppliers  

 
Ofgem Energy Advice for Households
 
Ofgem are the energy regulator for Great Britain.
 
Visit www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-advice-households to find support and guidance if you’re struggling with your energy bills. This page also provides advice on switching suppliers and what happens if your supplier goes bust.
 
The Energy Saving Trust provide advice on how to save money on your energy bills at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
 
 
Saving Money by Switching Suppliers
 
The Big Switch can assist you by comparing energy suppliers and also other household bills such as insurance, broadband and digital TV and phone contracts.
 
 
Uswitch Quick Checker at www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity to get personalised insights about your supplier, plan, costs and usage.
 
 

Support to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

 
Help to Heat
The government are investing £12 billion in this scheme to make homes cheaper to heat.
You can search for energy grants to make your home cheaper to heat at www.gov.uk/government/collections/find-energy-grants-for-you-home-help-to-heat
 
 
www.glasspool.org.uk provide timely, small, one-off grants to individuals, couples and families for everyday items to help when things get tough, equip them to manage better day-to-day and enable them to build a stronger future.
 
 
Energy Works
 
Energy Works are helping Greater Manchester residents become warmer, healthier and better off in their homes by providing energy saving advice and home improvements to put an end to cold homes.
Energy Works Green Doctor’s offer advice and support with:
  • Fixing causes of heat loss in your home
  • Tackling problems with damp or mould
  • Useful tips for saving energy and water whilst ensuring your home stays safe and comfortable
  • Installing small energy and water efficiency measures, such as draft excluders
  • Help with accessing other support, such as emergency heating, government subsidies or grants, and advice on energy or water debt.
 
Find out more at www.groundwork.org.uk/greendoctor
 
 
Visit www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency to get recommendations for home improvements that could make it cheaper to heat your property and keep it warm.
 
On the above webpage you can also calculate ways to improve the energy efficiency in your home.
 
Local Energy Advice Programme (LEAP)
Tameside Council is offering residents a new, completely free of charge service to help you save money and keep you home warm and cosy.

How it Works
Once we’ve checked your eligibility, you will get a FREE home visit from a qualified Home Energy Advisor who can help:
  • Install FREE simple home energy measures (LED lighting, draught proofing etc)
  • Give you day to day energy efficiency hints and tips and make sure your heating controller is working correctly
  • Help you check if you are on the cheapest tariff
  • Arrange a FREE telephone advice service to help with benefits, money and bill problems
  • Refer you for further energy efficiency improvements such as loft or cavity wall insulation and in some instances a new boiler.

For more information about the scheme visit www.applyforleap.org.uk or call 0800 060 7567
 
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funds are provided by energy suppliers to assist fuel poor, low income and vulnerable residents. Find out more on www.tameside.gov.uk/energysaving/grantsandfunding
 

Simple Tips to Save Energy and Money

 
The below tips are quick, easy and free ways to help you reduce the amount of energy you use.
 
Using Hot water bottles or Electric Blankets
Using a hot water bottle or electric blanket is a low-cost way to keep cosy. Pop your hot water bottle in-between your sheets or your electric blanket on just before you got to bed.
Please remember to have your electric blankets checked every three years, it’s also worth replacing it if it’s more than 10 years old.
Remember! If you’re keeping warm by using hot water bottles or an electric blanket, do not use both at the same time as it can be dangerous.
Also check that your hot water bottle is not past its expiry date- you can check by looking at the daisy shaped stamp on the neck of the bottle. It’s advised to change your hot water bottle yearly.
 
Draught proofing your house
Draught proofing your house makes a difference, keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
By fitting draught-proof strips and draught excluders around doors, window film and sealing gaps around window frames you can save approximately £70 a year by draught proofing and it’s the cheapest way you can stop heat escaping.
If you do fit any of these devices, make sure you leave some ventilation to reduce condensations and the build-up of waste gases from fuel burning appliances.
Remember to keep doors closed wherever possible to stop warm or cool air from escaping.
 
Washing
Make small changes to how and when you do your washing.
 
Try to run your washing machine during off peak periods (your energy supplier will be able to tell you when these are).
Do fewer, fuller washes and wash at a lower temperature. Modern washing machines can clean clothes effectively at lower temperatures. Changing from 40°C to 30°C means you could get 3 cycles instead of 2 using the same amount of energy, depending on your washing machine.
Instead of using your tumble dryer, hang clothes to dry outside or inside with a window open for ventilation. This could save you up to £70 a year.
If you get a new washing machine, make sure you check it has a good energy rating.
 
Kettle
Fancy a cuppa? When you boil the kettle, fill it with just the right amount of water.
 
Windows and Radiators
Remove obstructions from windows and radiators to make best use of daylight and make sure heating systems are operating efficiently.
Close your blinds and curtains at night to stop warm air escaping. Especially if you have radiators situated below your windows.
Reduce the temperature a boiler heats water to before it is sent to radiators (known as the boiler flow temperature) from 75⁰C to 60⁰C, which will not reduce the temperature of your home but could save around £100 annually.
Turn down radiators fitted with valves in the rooms you don’t use. This can save you around £70 a year. Don’t turn them off completely as it means when the heating is needed in the room, your boiler has to use more energy to heat it up.
Remember! People over 65, children under 5 and those with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to cold temperatures. Make sure you are warm enough and have a minimum indoor temperature of 18°C to ensure you protect your health while maintaining comfort.
 
Water
Water saving wonders. Make sure you get dripping taps fixed. Take a shower instead of a bath, it uses a third of the amount of water!
 
Turn it off- Lights and Electricals
Switch off lights and electrical equipment when not in use.
Even when your computers, televisions, smart devices and video game consoles draw power continuously when unplugged. Turning appliances off at the plug could save approximately £70 per year.
 
Use a Slow Cooker and Planning Meals
Money and energy saving slow cooker recipes, shopping Lists and top tips can be found at www.tameside.gov.uk/slowcookerproject
 
Track your Energy with a Smart Meter
If you have a smart meter, there are apps such as Utrack by Uswitch which is free and allows you to track your hourly energy use over days, weeks, months or years.
This can help you find the best ways to reduce usage and save on your energy bills in a safe and manageable way.
Contact your energy provider to find out more about smart meters.
 
Visit the below for more money saving hints and tips
www.moneysavingexpert.com
 

Support with Other Bills

 
United Utilities Bill Support
 
United Utilities can support you with your water bill.
 
Find out about lowering your bills, help with paying your water debts, flexible payments and payment breaks at www.unitedutilities.com/my-account/your-bill/difficulty-paying-your-bill/
 
United Utilities Trust Fund aims to give people a fresh start and a manageable budget for the future.  Putting people back in control of their money. The fund can help towards water debt, white goods and bankruptcy / Debt relief orders, find out more at www.uutf.org.uk/getting-help/application-form/
 
Mobile Phone Contracts, Travel and Cost of Living Payment Support
 
The Uswitch cost of living support hub can give you advice on how to save on your broadband and mobile contracts.   
 
Find out other ways you can manage your money, including how to look at competitive broadband tariffs and reducing travel costs at www.tameside.gov.uk/helpinghand/moneymanagement
 
You may also be eligible for a general, disability or pensioner cost of living payment.
 
Information on Cost of Living Support Payments, Disability Cost of Living Support Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment
 
 
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