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Cambridge City Council

Cost of living support - grants, vouchers and advice to help you manage the rising cost of living.
Up until 29 November please join us at one of our cost of living events. The event offers information, guidance and support.

Energy bill help

£150 energy rebate

Earlier this year, the government introduced a national scheme through which local councils would provide one-off, £150 energy rebates for homes in Council Tax bands A to D. Find out more about the energy rebate scheme.

Government’s Energy Price Guarantee

On 8 September the Government announced a new energy bills support package. This includes the Energy Price Guarantee which will ensure that a typical household pays an average £2,500 a year on their energy bill, for the next 2 years, from 1 October. The savings for households will depend on usage, but are expected to be at least £1,000 a year for a typical household.

You don't need to apply, and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.

This is in addition to the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (see below). The most vulnerable UK households will also continue to receive £1,200 of support provided in instalments over the year.

£400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount

All UK households were due to receive a non-repayable Energy Bills Support Scheme discount on energy bills of £400 from October 2022. Households paying by Direct Debit should see six monthly discounts of £66/£67 applied to energy bills by suppliers from October.

For people on pre-payment meters, you need to claim the discount. Vouchers will be sent in the post by the main energy suppliers – and customers will need to redeem these at Post Office or PayPoint stores, where you would usually top up your meter. The vouchers should arrive in the post by the 17 of each month. Please note the vouchers are then only valid for 90 days – please don’t miss out on this support.

If your landlord pays your energy bills on your behalf as an intermediary, you can read about the need for landlords to pass on this energy discount to tenants in a 'just and reasonable' way.

If you are concerned about this and your landlord is not able to resolve your concerns, you can contact our Residential Team, at env.health@cambridge.gov.uk or phone 012234 57900, for advice and support.

For more information about the discount, please visit the government Energy Bills Support Scheme explainer.

Cambridgeshire County Council financial support

The Cambridgeshire Household Support Fund has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food and household energy bills.

It is money Cambridgeshire County Council have been awarded to help those in need and most affected by the cost of living crisis to support them to resolve their financial issues. 

£150 Warm Home Discount

Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment to reduce eligible customers’ bills over the winter months. This winter (2022 to 2023), it's rising from £140 to £150.

The £150 is not paid to the applicant but taken off their electricity bill sometime between September and March. Applications must be made directly to the energy supplier annually, except for those on Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) who should receive this automatically.

Energy debts grants

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off.

Citizens Advice has created a list of grants that are offered by energy providers to their customers. Even if your energy provider isn’t listed, you might be able to 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.

Find out about these options on Citizens Advice– scroll down to ‘Grants to help pay off energy debts’.

Switching energy supplier to save money

Organisations such as Citizens Advice are advising that, because many energy companies are struggling, you won't find as many tariffs as normal – and if you don’t find a better tariff than the one you’re on it’s probably better to wait until deals are available again.

However, if things change and you wish to look into changing suppliers, it's important to do research into the best option for you. Citizens Advice and Ofgem can provide more information about whether to switch, and how to do so. 

Identify where your home is losing heat

From November to March, the use of thermal imaging cameras can help to reveal where your home is leaking heat.

Sign up with Cambridge Carbon Footprint for a free training session and to borrow a thermal imaging camera.

This can show problems with insulation, draughts, damp and more. Some of the problems shown are easy for householders to fix, like draught-proofing, and some, like faulty insulation, may need professional help.

Home energy efficiency grants and incentives

There are various grant schemes available to Cambridge residents to increase the energy efficiency of your home (and bring down energy costs in the longer term).

Visit home energy efficiency grants and incentives.

Support for tenants

If you have concerns about the condition of your home – for instance whether you're able to heat your home effectively and whether it's free from damp and mould, you should first speak to your landlord to see how they can address the issue.

If your landlord is not able to resolve your concerns, you can contact the Residential Team, at env.health@cambridge.gov.uk or phone 012234 57900, for advice and support regarding these and other safety and suitability issues.

As a private tenant, you would be entitled to live peacefully in your home: you cannot be forced to leave your home unless your landlord has followed the correct legal procedures. At the start of your tenancy, your landlord should have provided you with certain information. If they don’t, and they later serve you with a notice to end the tenancy, that notice might be invalid.

If you have been served with a notice to leave your accommodation, you're welcome to check with our Housing Advice Service (for free) whether the notice is valid or not.

The team will also be able to support you and advise you of your rights.

Heat and Health project

£179,000 funding has been secured from health partners for a Heat and Health project.

We will work with communities to create support for residents who experience damp and mould and associated health conditions as a result of not being able to heat their homes fully. More information about this project will be announced soon.

Ideas to use less energy

Citizens Advice provides lots of advice about help that may be available with energy costs.

Energy Saving Trust advise how to cut down on your energy use to save money.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint has ideas to help reduce costs and save energy.

Which has also published 10 ways to reduce energy bills.

Emergency energy vouchers

If you have a pre-pay meter and are struggling to afford to top it up, contact our partner PECT. They can offer advice, support and assess you for an emergency fuel voucher. PECT can also provide free energy saving products such as rechargeable lightbulbs, draught excluders, chimney balloons and radiator reflector panels.

Cambridgeshire financial support scheme

Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS) supports people facing unexpected financial difficulties. CLAS can provide information, advice and practical support and assistance in times of exceptional pressure.

Following an assessment, you may be eligible for a CLAS award. The awards can be in the form of supermarket vouchers, energy vouchers, new white goods, decorating packs, beds, mattresses, recycled white goods and furniture. You can self-refer, contact CLAS directly.

Winter fuel payment – from £250 to £600

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 is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

The amount you’ll get includes your ‘pensioner cost of living payment’. This is between £150 and £300. You’ll only get this extra amount in winter 2022 to 2023. This is in addition to any cost of living payment you get with your benefit or tax credits.

Cold weather payment 2022

The Cold Weather Payment scheme runs from 1 November 2022 to 31 March 2023. You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or is forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius (or below) over seven consecutive days. You’ll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2022 and 31 March 2023. 

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re receiving:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

For more information visit the government cold weather payment page.