Increasing energy prices: What support is available?
With energy prices and the overall cost of living rapidly increasing, you may have concerns about how you’ll continue to heat your home and put food on the table in the coming months. If you’re feeling worried about the future, we’re here to help and make you aware of the support available from voluntary organisations, local authorities, and energy companies themselves.
Around 43,000 households across Norfolk are currently experiencing fuel poverty, and the energy price cap increase in April will push nearly one-fifth of English households into fuel poverty, as many struggle to keep their homes warm. The Covid-19 pandemic has made things more difficult, as many people have lost their jobs and are now looking for work in uncertain economic times.
So what support is available for you? Voluntary and community organisations across Norfolk are aware of the increased pressures on families as well as the impact of the removal of the Universal Credit £20 uplift.
Community Action Norfolk
Community Action Norfolk (CAN) is an independent charity which offers advice and guidance to people who may be worried about managing their electricity, gas, heating and water bills. CAN deliver free energy awareness advice sessions to provide information about how you can reduce your energy usage at home and where to find additional support.
Rik Martin, Chief Executive of CAN said: “We’ve delivered energy advice to the public for several years now, as part of the Big Energy Saving Network from Citizens Advice. It’s taken on a new urgency of late with the dramatic rises in gas prices. Now is not a good time to switch supplier but we can advise on many other ways of getting help with energy bills and saving energy at home.”
If you’re concerned about your energy bills and would like to join CAN for a free online session via Microsoft Teams, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to join but don’t have a device or the digital skills you need, our friendly Community Skills team will be happy to help!
Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount scheme can provide support with electricity bills and everyday essentials. You could receive a discount of £140 on your electricity bill for winter under this scheme.
In addition to this, the Government has recently announced support in the form of an energy rebate. This includes a £150 non-repayable rebate for households in England in council tax bands A to D, and a £200 discount on energy bills for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain, to be paid back over 5 years.
As a Victory Homes tenant, you can receive support from our Community Skills team, who can help with anything from improving your digital skills to preparation for interviews and confidence building. Whether you’re looking for a new job to improve your financial resilience or you want to simply develop your skills, our friendly team are always on hand to offer information and guidance, to help you reach your full potential.
Our Tenancy Support team are here to support you through every stage of your tenancy with us. They can help you to access services and benefits, guide you through managing your budget and point you in the direction of additional support from external organisations. If you’ve fallen into rent debt or you have concerns about your household bills, please get in touch!
We’re here for you
Watching your energy bills rise can be scary, but it’s important to remember that if you’re struggling to heat your home or put food on the table, there is support available. For more information and guidance you can head over to the Money Management and Energy Management pages of our website, or check out the helpful links below. And, if you’d like someone to chat to, find out how you can get in touch with us!
Norfolk Assistance Scheme - NAS helps people who are in financial hardship and cannot afford their living costs.
Citizens Advice Bureau – an independent organisation offering advice surrounding money including debt solutions, tax advice, budgeting and much more.
The Money Charity - a national money education charity which aims to help people handle their money well.