Get Support With:
- Paying Your Energy Bills
- Paying Your Water Bill
- Additional Support If You Are Disabled
- Staying Warm This Winter
- Cheaper Phone & Broadband
- Paying your TV License
- Beware of scams
Gas and electricity bills are rising. If you’re struggling to keep up with your payments, there is help available. You can also visit the links below for specialist support and advice:
Cost of Living Payments 2023-24
Millions of UK households received £301 directly from DWP between 25 April and 17 May 2023. This was the first of three payments totalling up to £900 for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, in 2023/24.
There will be further payments worth £150 for eligible disabled people and £300 for pensioners later this year, meaning the most vulnerable can receive up to £1,350 in direct payments.
The payments will be sent out automatically and directly to recipients, meaning those eligible do not need to apply or do anything to receive it. The payment reference for bank accounts will be DWP COLP, along with the claimant’s National Insurance number.
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills.
This winter, from November 2023, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
British Gas Energy Trust
The British Gas Energy Trust currently operates two energy debt write-off funds, which are open for applications. It does not matter if you are on a pre-payment meter or a credit customer:
- Individuals and Families Fund - You do not need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this fund
The British Gas Energy Support Fund - You do need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this fund
MoneySavingExpert.com has compiled a list of all grants offered by energy suppliers, and how to apply for them. Click here for more information
Great British Insulation Scheme
Launched September 2023 to support the installation of Insulation to properties. Click here for more information
Boiler Upgrade Scheme
Scheme to introduce Heat Pumps and Biomass boilers particularly in off gas grid properties. Click here for more information
ECO 4 / ECO Flex Funding
Energy Saving Improvements such as insulation boiler repairs etc. Residents can approach their energy company direct for information. Further guidance and advice is available from OFGEM. Derby City Council is working with OFGEM to expand the eligibility criteria for the ECO4. Click here for more information
Connected for Warmth Scheme
Connected for Warmth is a grant scheme offering FREE energy-saving measures to homes across Britain, to help you reduce your energy use and stay warm and well. Focuses on Loft Insulation and Cavity Wall Insulation. Click here for more information
Derby City Council and partners across the region are working with “able to pay” residents, to access one-to-one advice from trained Retrofit advisors. These advisors can identify a whole house retrofit plan for residents especially with hard to treat properties. The project is launched regionally in September 2023 and Derby City Council is in the process of setting up the local arrangements. In Derby the project will be delivered by Marches Energy Agency
Many water companies run hardship schemes or fund independent charitable trusts which can help you pay your bills.
Get support paying your Water Bill
Disability Cost of Living Payment
Individuals on disability benefits will receive a one-off £150 payment in September to help with extra costs, such as for specialist equipment or transport.
This is in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits.
Disability Energy Support
The charity Scope offers free advice to disabled people, to help manage energy and water needs. The service is open to any disabled person or households where one or more disabled people live.
Rebates when you use an oxygen concentrator
If you use an oxygen concentrator at home, you can get a rebate for the electricity it uses. The company that supplies your concentrator can make payments to your bank account.
Call the Electricity Rebates (BOC Home Oxygen Service) Patient Service Centre on freephone 0800 136 603.
Call the Electricity Refund (Air Liquide Healthcare) rebate team on freephone 0800 781 9939.
Priority Support Register
The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and network operators offer it. Each keeps their own register. You need to contact your energy supplier or network operator to get on it..
Cold Weather Guidance
There are some simple steps to getting ready for winter weather. Planning ahead can really help you and your family when the cold sets in.
For more information visit: https://www.derby.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/public-health/cold-weather/
Additional Financial Support for the Winter
Marches Energy Agency (MEA) supports Derby residents through the Warmer Derby and Derbyshire project. They offer support with energy bills, insulation grants and energy efficiency they can be contacted on 0800 677 1332 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. MEA also offer a drop-in advice session at the Sahahra project every Tuesday - Rosehill Lodge, 75 Rosehill Street, Normanton, Derby DE23 8FZ
Winter Fuel Payments
In 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, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.
Check if you’re eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment
Cold Weather Payments
£25 extra a week if you’re getting certain benefits is available during the winter when the temperature is zero or below for more than seven days.
Check if you’re eligible for Cold Weather Payments
Warm Home Discount
This autumn nearly three million low-income households are eligible for a £150 rebate on their winter electricity bills.
Check if you are eligible for the Warm Home Discount
0% VAT on Energy Saving Materials
It will be cheaper for you to install energy saving materials such as thermal insulation or solar panels with 0% VAT for the next five years, helping to improve energy efficiency in your home and keep heating bills down.
Find ways to save energy in your home
Help to Heat
You may be eligible for grants to improve the energy efficiency of your home, which could help to reduce your energy bills. Government is investing in energy efficiency schemes which are being delivered by local authorities.
You may be eligible to move onto a social tariff if you’re struggling to afford your broadband or phone services.
Good Things Foundation - Free Data Vouchers Scheme
The Good Things Foundation established the UK National Databank to help people from low-income households to get digitally connected for 12 months. The databank has been built with support from Virgin Media O2 and with data donated by Virgin Media O2, Vodafone and Three.
To qualify for free data through the National Databank, people need to be over 18, be from a low-income household and qualify in one or more of the following:
- have no access or insufficient access to the internet at home
- and/or have no or insufficient access to the internet when away from the home
- and/or cannot afford their existing monthly contract or top up
Eligible adults need to book an appointment to receive a free data voucher. Call Normanton Library on 01332 642640 or speak to a member of staff at Normanton, Alvaston, Mickleover or Riverside Library.
Aged 75 or over, and receiving Pension Credit?
You can apply for a free TV Licence. You need to be receiving Pension Credit in your name, or this can be in your partner’s name if you are a couple and living at the same address.
To apply for a concession, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/concessions
Simple Payment Plan
The Simple Payment Plan is TV Licensing's most affordable plan, offering more flexible payment options for people struggling to pay their TV Licence.
How to join the Simple Payment Plan
You must be invited to join the Simple Payment Plan. You can apply online now if you've:
- received a letter or an email inviting you to join
- received a calling card from TV Licensing while you were out, or
- been referred by a debt advice charity (charities listed on the TV Licensing website include: Citizens Advice Bureau, National Debtline and Step Change Debt Charity.)
If you haven't been invited, you aren't able to apply for the Simple Payment Plan. For information on how you can pay for your licence another way, visit the main TV Licensing website.
What payment options does the Simple Payment Plan offer?
- Direct Debit (monthly)
- Simple Payment Plan payment card (monthly or fortnightly) - pay by cash or debit card at any PayPoint terminal.
- Continuous Payment Authority (monthly or fortnightly) - get payments taken automatically from your debit or credit card.
Once you are set up on the Simple Payment Plan you can also make ad-hoc payments using a debit or credit card via the website, over the phone, or via a Paythru link issued via SMS.
Blind (severely sight impaired)?
You may be entitled to a 50% concession on the Simple Payment Plan.
For more information about the Simple Payment Plan visit: https://signup.spp.tvlicensing.co.uk/cop/#/faqs
Scammers may sometimes contact you pretending to be from Ofgem. For example, a scammer might call saying they are from Ofgem or your energy company, suggest you switch and then ask for your bank details.
They might try to contact you by knocking at your door, phone calls, social media, email, pop-up messages on a website, or text messages. They can use the availability of grants, promises of cheap energy, and energy efficiency claims as tactics to trick you.