Guide to Help with Energy Costs

What is it?

It is a scheme that allows you to apply to the council for financial help with things like food costs, gas, electricity, water, essential household and clothing items and blankets.

How do I apply?

The application takes less than 10 minutes and can be completed on

You can create an account using your personal or university email address or complete the form as a guest.

What information do I need to provide?

The council wants to know about any support you are receiving, such as from charities or local organisations, whether you or anyone you live with currently work (family, children, partner but not housemates/friends who are not financially dependent on you), whether you and/or your family are currently in work, and if you are in receipt of any benefits.

The council will need your consent to use your information to process the application.

They will contact you directly to discuss the application and their decision.

What if I need more information about financial support available to me or if I have money worries?

You can book an appointment with Your Student’s Union Advice team here.

The Scheme provides a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023.This can be automatically given to your power company, or you may be sent a letter to take to the Post Office. For those in privately rented accommodation, contact your landlord to check this was not sent to them – this entitlement is for the tenants and so the landlord should be passing this money on to you.

All households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible for the discount.

Your landlord may charge an ‘all inclusive’ rent, where a fixed cost for energy usage is included in your rental charges, in which case:

  • they are encouraged to come to an agreement with you on the discount in line with the arrangement in your tenancy agreement
  • the landlord’s fixed charge may already provide you with similar protection from the impact of the energy price increase
If you pay for your electricity as part of your rent

If your landlord has a domestic electricity contract with a licensed electricity supplier, and you pay for your electricity as part of your rent, your landlord may pass their discount on to you.

You may get a lump sum payment of £150 if you’re getting any of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Eligibility: You must have received a payment (or later receive a payment) of one of these qualifying benefits for 25 May 2022 to get the payment.

British Gas Energy Support Fund

‘’Once you have sought advice, the British Gas Energy Trust may be able to provide a grant if you are struggling to pay off gas or electricity debt. Please note grants over £1,500 will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. As part of your application, we will want to understand how you will be able to manage your energy costs in future. This is why it’s so important to ensure you have sought professional money advice before applying, as there may be other routes which are more suitable for your situation. Our debt relief grants are available to both British Gas customers and customers of other energy suppliers.’’ –

Scottish Power Hardship Fund

You could qualify for help from the Scottish Power Hardship Fund if you meet the terms and conditions and you’re receiving:

  • Income Support,
  • Job Seekers Allowance,
  • Pension Credit,
  • Employment and Support Allowance

You could also qualify if you have a low household income, or if there are special circumstances which could make you eligible for example you have experienced an income reduction due to illness.

Ovo Energy Fund

The E.ON Next Energy Fund is for their customers who are experiencing financial hardship. There are two ways this fund can help and support you:

      The first option is to help you with paying gas and electricity bills through grants, helping you to become financially stable and more in control of your finances.
      The second option is providing replacement appliances e.g., cookers, fridges, washing machines, if yours are broken or in poor condition.
EDF Energy Customer Support Fund

If you're vulnerable our Fund could help you with electricity or gas bill debts, and provide essential white goods such as a fridge or cooker.

Step 1: Register for help from our Priority Services. To see how we can support you. We'll help make sure you're on the best energy tariff and see if we can save you money on your future energy bills. You'll also need to have sought independent advice before you apply. We can refer you to speak to one of our partners for free independent advice to help you manage your money and maximise your income.

Step 2: Apply for help from the Customer Support Fund on the Let's Talk website. You'll need to have your EDF account number and current energy debt balances ready, along with details of your household finances and vulnerability. It may be helpful to have your more recent energy bill to hand when you apply. The form will guide you through the process and automatically save so you won't lose your progress.

Octopus ‘Octo Assist Fund’

Octopus have their own fund for customers struggling to pay for their energy. All Octopus customers can access the Financial Support Form here Everyone's circumstances are unique | Octopus Energy – it’s a quick and simple online tool that asks a series of questions about your financial situation to best help you. In addition, they can also help with loaning a thermal imagery camera to find heat leaks in your home.

Shell Energy Support Fund

Customers can contact Shell on 0330 094 5800 or Possible solutions advertised on Shell’s website include:

    • Only fill the kettle with what you need.
    • Keep your fridge full and dust free.
    • Many foods can be cooked in a microwave instead of an over, saving you lots of time and power. If you can afford it, invest in a slow cooker, or air fryer, they use less energy to run.
    • Use a washing up bowl to save water.
    • Washing clothes at a lower temperature or using its eco function if it comes with one, will make each cycle cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly.
    • Air dry your clothes where possible, to save on using your washer/dryer.
    • Reduce your time in the shower and if you take baths, switch to showers if you can.
    • Remember to switch off appliances when not in use, try not to leave them on standby where possible.
    • Keep yourself warm, the more you focus on keeping yourself warm (as opposed to the room/home you are in), the more money you can save. For example, invest in a wearable blanket or layer up.
    • Buy an electric blanket if you can afford it – this can save you a lot of money and will keep you warm – you can also buy wearable blankets that charge via a power bank or USB. Remember not to leave these devices on and unattended as that could mean a fire risk.
    • Close curtains (and buy thermal ones if you can) to keep heat from escaping out of the room.
    • Put tin foil behind radiators to reflect heat back into the room.
    • Draught proof your windows and doors to prevent the cold coming through – you can buy draught excluders if you can, otherwise be creative – masking tape can do wonders! For DIY ideas for draught excluders, the BBS have some ideas here.
    • Use LED or other energy efficient light bulbs if you can.
    • Set your fridge for between 3-5 degrees and defrost your freezer regularly to make sure it's in tip top condition.
    • If you’re renting and your landlord’s Energy Performance Certificate says your property is rated in Band F or G, your landlord has to make some improvements – check with them and ask about making your property more energy efficient. If your landlord won’t make improvements, you can complain to your council.
    • Check if your letterbox shuts securely, as fixing this could stop heat being carried away.

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