What is Fuel Poverty?
Fuel Poverty is when, in order to heat its home to an adequate standard of warmth; the household needs to spend more than 10% of its income to maintain an adequate heating regime. The main living area of the property should be maintained at 21 degrees and other occupied rooms maintained at 18 degrees. There are over 6.3 million households currently in Fuel Poverty, representing approximately 24% of all households in the UK. Rising fuel prices could push an extra 1.9 million households into Fuel Poverty.
What causes Fuel Poverty?
High Fuel Price
Poor Energy Efficiency
Is there anything I can do to avoid Fuel Poverty?
You can reduce your energy bills by changing the way you pay. If you currently pay when you get your bill through the post, you could try paying by Monthly Direct Debit. This is the cheapest way to pay and gives you access to a lot more tariffs. You could also have an online account. The only difference with these is that instead of receiving everything through the post, you get it emailed to you.
Have a look at our information about grants which you could qualify for. If you don’t wualify for grants from the government, you could pay to upgrade your insulation yourself. It will save you money in the long run. A few examples of this are:
An initial cost of £290 for loft insulation could save upto £200 on your fuel bill each year. This means in 18 months you could have paid off your initial payment and start saving even more.
An initial cost of £15 for Energy Efficient Light Bulbs throughout the house would cost about £15, but these could save you £15 each year on your energy bills. This means after the first year, you’re savig money with these.
Are there any schemes to help me?
Warm Front Scheme
This is a givernment-funded scheme that offers grants of up to £3,500 (£6,000 if oil central heating is involved) for the work to increase the energy efficiency of your home. They offer everything from energy efficient light bulbs to insulation and central heating. There is certain criteria you have to meet in order to qualify for a grant, but even if you dint meet these you may still be able to get a £300 rebate if you’re over 60 and have no central heating. The Warm Front Scheme is only available in England, but other schemes do exist for the rest of the UK.
Community Energy Saving Programme
This is a new scheme that is being provided by local councils, voluntary organisations and energy companies. They will target some of the most deprived areas of the UK, carrying out house to house calls to offer help. It is funded by energy firms, including electricity generating companies. New legislation will make them come up with £910 million to pay for the scheme. You will need to call the government helpline on 0800 512 012 to find out if you’re eligible for this scheme.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
For Winter 2013 and 2014, you could get a £135 discount on your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. There are certain criteria which you must meet to be eligible but some suppliers offer the discount to vulnerable people ( for example, those on low income) and the discount doesnt affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you’re over 60 and normally live in the UK then you may be entitled to Winter Fuel Payments from the Government. Depending on your specific circumstances you’ll be entitled to anything from £100 to £300 and if you qualify you should be paid automatically between November and December.
Cold Weather Payment
This is a one off payment of £25 made if the temperature is recorded, or predicted to be, an average of 0 degrees for seven consecutive days during the period of 1st November and 31st March. You may qualify if you receive Pension Credit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Income Related Employment and Support Allowance. If you qualify you should receive your payment automatically, but if you don’t you can conact your nearest Job Centre Plus.
Call us now on 0333 3583425 or 01282 332070. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org for further help.