As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, Liz Truss’ announcement of an energy bills freeze comes at an ideal time, as a new survey by Quotezone.co.uk reveals that consumers are currently unequipped to absorb the rising costs as savings plummet to zero for 65% of UK households.
Quotezone.co.uk’s survey, which asked 1,000 households about financial changes over the past 12 months, also reveals that Brits feel the government will play the most important role in helping households through these testing times. Almost half, 46.1%, said that “government support funds” is the best way to tackle the crisis, followed by “more choice from energy firms” at 28.3% and “streamlining of grocery prices” at 15.7%.
Alongside the Energy Price Guarantee which aims to cap the average household energy bill at £2500 from 1st October, the government is also introducing a universal £400 grant to help families pay for their energy bills. While it’s expected that the government will announce further support over the coming months, it is important that households are aware of the existing schemes to help during the winter.
Quotezone.co.uk has compiled a list of other key grants and benefits currently available:
· Warm Home Discount Scheme: If you receive benefits, you might be eligible to get £150 off your electricity bill or £150 added to your prepayment meter. You don’t need to apply for the scheme as payments are automatic.
· Winter Fuel Payment: This is an annual one-off payment to help people pay for their heating during the winter. You are eligible for this payment if you’re born on or before 25 September 1956 – you may need to apply here.
· Local energy grants: Be on the lookout for whether your local council are providing grants. You can enter your postcode on Simple Energy Advice’s website to check.
· 0% VAT on energy saving materials: If you’re able to invest in the long-term insulation of your home, it is now cheaper for you to do so as energy saving materials such as thermal insulation or solar panels will have 0% VAT for the next five years. This is a long-term solution, but it will require a larger up-front cost.
· Pensioner Cost of Living Payment: During the winter months, pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.
Greg Wilson, Founder of price comparison site Quotezone.co.uk comments: “As we approach the winter and costs continue to rise, households across the UK will need additional help wherever they can get it. It’s clear from our survey that government support would be a great start in tackling these spiralling costs, so these latest measures are a welcome help.
“While this is positive news, it’s important that households across the UK are also aware of the other various schemes and grants that they’re eligible for, to help make this period as manageable as possible.”
The data, collected at the end of August 2022, is available on Quotezone.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites.