Temperatures are dropping, which means more and more households will start turning on their heating systems, but now that the energy price cap is in place, many will be reluctant to do so.
Millions of households across the UK are facing an average increase in their energy bills of around Â£ 139 due to the rise in the price of wholesale gas and which could rise further next April, according to the silver expert, Martin Lewis.
On October 1, households saw their energy bills increase by 12% to Â£ 1,277 per year. The financial guru recently explained on his Money Show Live TV show, âWhat no one tells you and what’s most important is what happens next.
He continued, âThe price cap changes every six months and it is important to know that the current price cap is based on wholesale prices from the beginning of February to the end of July.
“But on April 1 of next year, we will have a new price cap based on current wholesale prices until the end of January.”
Martin said the expert analysis indicates that based on the current execution rate, the price cap will rise to Â£ 1,455 per year, a further increase of 14%.
He warned: âWhen you think about the price cap, don’t think about the next six months because the energy doesn’t last about six months, what you have to think about is what will happen next April and it will go very high.
While the thought of spending more money on heating your home can be overwhelming, it’s important to know about the financial support available that could help keep costs down.
Winter fuel payment
If you were born on or before September 26, 1955, you could receive between Â£ 100 and Â£ 300 to help pay your heating bills – this is called a ‘winter fuel payment’.
You don’t need to claim it and the winter fuel payment will automatically go to your supplier if you qualify.
You will automatically receive support if you:
- Receive a state pension
- Benefit from another social security benefit – no housing allowance, municipal tax reduction, family allowance or universal credit
If you don’t get any of these items or live overseas, you may need to make a claim.
If you have already received a Winter Fuel Payment, you do not need to claim again, unless you have deferred your state pension or have moved abroad.
Winter fuel payment eligibility
You are eligible for a winter fuel payment if both of the following conditions apply:
- You were born on or before September 26, 1955
- You have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 20-26, 2021 – this is called the ‘qualifying week’
The deadline for making a claim for the winter of 2021 to 2022 is March 31, 2022.
How much you will get
The amount you get depends on your situation during the qualifying week. The money you receive is tax free and will not affect your other benefits.
You can find out how much you will receive on the dedicated GOV.UK pages here.
When will you get paid
Most payments are made automatically in November or December.
You will receive a letter telling you how much you will receive and an estimated payment date.
If the money is not deposited into your account by January 14, 2022, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Center here.
All payments are made to the account where your benefits are usually paid.
How to make a complaint
If you have not yet received a winter fuel payment, you only need to apply if one of the following conditions apply:
- You do not receive state allowances or pensions
- You only benefit from a housing allowance, a municipal tax reduction, a child allowance or a universal credit
- You receive state benefits or a state pension but live in Switzerland or in an EEA country
If you have already received a winter fuel payment, you only need to request if, since your last payment, you have either:
- Deferred your state pension
- Moved to Switzerland or an EEA country
Who does not qualify?
You will not be eligible for the winter fuel payment if you:
- You are hospitalized and benefit from free treatment for more than a year
- Need permission to enter UK and permission granted says you cannot claim public funds
- Were in prison the entire week of September 20-26, 2021
- Lived in a care home for the entire period from June 28 to September 26, 2021 and obtained pension credit, income assistance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) or allowance for Employment and Income Support (ESA)
Cold weather payments
People with low income and receiving certain benefits can also apply for the cold weather payment to help cover heating costs when the temperature is recorded as being below zero degrees Celsius or is expected to be below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days. .
You will receive Â£ 25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. You will be able to check if your region has to pay a payment from November.
After each period of extreme cold in your area, you should receive payment within 14 business days. It is paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.
It’s also worth noting that cold weather payments do not affect your other benefits.
You will be eligible for cold weather payments if you obtain:
- Pension credit
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Employment allowance and income support
- Universal Credit
- Assumption of mortgage interest
How to Claim Cold Weather Payments
You don’t need to apply. If you are eligible for cold weather payment, you will be paid automatically.
Learn more about cold weather payments on the GOV.UK website here.
Hot House Discount
You could get Â£ 140 off your electricity bill for the winter of 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme which opened on October 18, 2021.
The money is not paid to you – this is a one-time rebate on your electricity bill, between October and March 2022.
You may be able to take advantage of the reduction on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity – contact your supplier to find out.
The discount will not affect your cold weather payment or your winter fuel payment.
Am I eligible?
There are two ways to qualify for the Warm Home rebate program:
How you apply for the Hot Home Discount Program depends on how you qualify for the discount.
Prepaid or prepaid meters
You can still benefit from the discount if you use a prepaid or prepaid electricity meter.
Your electricity supplier can tell you how you will benefit from the discount if you are eligible, such as a voucher that you can use to top up your meter.
How to register
Your electricity supplier decides who can benefit from the rebate.
The number of discounts that suppliers can give is limited. Check with your provider as soon as possible if you are eligible and how to apply – check with them even if you were eligible for a discount last year.
Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by March 31, 2022.
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Only British Gas, E.on and Scottish Power have confirmed their participation this year, however, the energy companies listed below participated in the scheme during the winter of 2020 to 2021:
- Affect energy
- To reinforce
- Bristol Energy – only if you are eligible for the “core group”
- British gas
- British Gas Evolve (formerly British Gas X)
- Bulb energy
- Cooperative energy
- E (Gas and Electricity)
- Ecotricity – only if you are eligible for the “base group”
- EDF Energy
- Green Energy United Kingdom (GEUK)
- Green Star Energy
- iSupply Energy
- Power of London
- Lumo – see OVO
- M&S Energy
- nPower Select
- Octopus energy
- Pure planet
- Qwest Energy
- Roar power
- Sainsbury’s energy
- Scottish Hydro
- Shell Energy
- So energy
- Southern Electric
- Tonik energy
- Utility warehouse
MoneySavingExpert.c0m offers a comprehensive guide to which energy supplier is open for applications or when it is supposed to – find out more here.
For more information on the Warm Home Discount Scheme for Winter 2021/22, visit the GOV.UK website here.
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