Low income families urged to seek help with energy bills
The government is urging people struggling with energy bills to seek extra financial support from their local council.
The money is available through the Household Support Fund.
And more than £360 million has already been paid to households to help with energy and water bills.
What you’ll get will depend on where you live, with each council deciding how to spend their Household Support Fund allocation. Some are offering money towards bills, while other are proving vouchers redeemable with energy providers.
The Household Support Fund can also help with the cost of making homes more energy efficient.
Kingston upon Hull council have used the fund to pay for hundreds of boilers and radiators for residents, while other have benefitted from loft insulation, new thermostats, and radiator valves.
And pensioners in Swindon Borough Council have been allocated tens of thousands of pounds for tailored heating support, including fuel and energy grants, as well as repairs and maintenance to heating systems.
The fund also provide support for other needs such as kitchen essentials like white goods, free school meals and warm clothing to help people get through the colder months.
Jo Churchill, minister for employment, said: “The Household Support Fund is there for anyone who needs a helping hand. The fund allows councils to help in all kinds of ways - from providing heating support, like boilers and insultation, to other needs, such as kitchen essentials, free school meals and warm clothing.”
What is the household support fund?
Distributed by local councils, the household support fund was launched in October 2021 to provide help with essential costs such as:
- Energy and water bills
- Essential items
Your local council may also offer food vouchers to families during school holidays.
Who can get help from the household support fund?
Funding is aimed at anyone who is vulnerable or who cannot pay for essentials. You do not have to be getting benefits to get help from the household support fund.
If you are claiming benefits, they won’t be affected if you get a payment from the household support fund.
How do you apply for help from the household support fund?
Councils decide how to run their schemes. There might be differences in:
- If or how you need to apply
- Who the money is given to
E.g. some councils share out money through local charities and community groups and some limit household applications to one per year.
Check with your local council to find out what support is available to you.
Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.
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