Cost of Living Crisis Resources and Links to Support & Advice
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COST of LIVING

CRISIS

The main discussion item at the September Health & Wellbeing Area Board was the Cost of Living.  Insights were shared from a range of community groups, including foodbanks, and sheltered housing schemes.  A brief update was also shared on the Wiltshire wide Warm Places initiative that is gradually gaining momentum.  Here are some useful links and additional sources of information on the cost of living issue for your information:



Here are some of the highlights from a presentation by Utility Aid to Rural Kent organisation.

 

Energy Bill Relief Scheme

 

  • From 1st October 2022 until 1st March 2023, the commodity cost of a unit of electricity will be capped at 21.1 pence or £211 per MWh (megawatt hour) and an equivalent unit of gas will be capped at 7.5 pence or £75 per MWh (megawatt hour).

  • This discount will apply to all tariffs and contracts commencing 1st October 2022 or onwards, which had been signed on or after 1st December 2021. This discount should automatically be applied to October bills which will normally be issued in November.

  • Those on default, deemed or variable tariffs will find that their discounts are capped, meaning they will not save as much as those in contracts.

  • The gov.uk website states that ‘…the amount of this Maximum Discount is likely to be around £345/MWh for electricity and £91/MWh for gas, subject to wholesale market developments. Non-domestic customers on default or variable tariffs will therefore pay reduced bills, but these will still change over time and may still be subject to price increases.’

For more info: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/energy-bill-relief-scheme-help-for-businesses-and-other-non-domestic-customers 

 

The most common overcharges we see on customers bills are:

  • Incorrect VAT – If you are unsure about if you qualify for a reduced rate of VAT on your utility bills, please contact HRMC VAT Helpline 0300 200 3701 or visit https://www.gov.uk/vat-charities

  

  • Meter Reading Queries - If you don’t give your supplier meter readings, they’ll send you estimated bills. For example, if you don’t give them a meter reading during the summer, they might send you an estimated bill based on the energy you used in winter!

  

Check your bill - it should say if it’s estimated. Remember you could be paying more than what you use!

 

Become greener – and save money too!

  • Check equipment - Ensure your heating equipment has been serviced by qualified service agents. Make sure your radiators are balanced and air conditioners have been tested.

  • Check lights - Consider LED and low energy lighting. Dear bulbs, but over time they give you big savings.

  • Reduce paper waste - Printing less is a double saver. Less energy to run machines and less paper.

  • Check for gifts -There are grants and schemes to help organisations save. Check out the Energy Saving Trust

  • Promote - Tell your stakeholders what you are doing to be greener

 

  • Only heat areas that are being used

  • Check thermostats regularly

  • Check for draughts and stop them

  • Monitor your energy usage

  • Provide meter readings and keep a record

  • Deal with your baseload, switching off all nonessential equipment off everyday

 

If you need help or support with reviewing your energy bills or need assistance with looking at your energy contract renewals, we can help you.

Please contact us:

Email - eberry@utility-aid.com