Support with Energy and Utility Bills

On this page we have put together some information and useful links to help anyone needing support with managing their energy costs and other utility bills.

Support from the government

In response to the high energy prices over the winter, the Government provided a range of extra support for residents. This included the Energy Bills Support Scheme where households received a £400 non-repayable discount in their electricity costs from October 2022 to March 2023.

For most residents, this discount was applied automatically to their bills by the energy suppliers. But there are some households who received vouchers to use at top-up points instead.

If you are a household that received vouchers, then please note that these vouchers will need to be redeemed by 30 June 2023. You can find more information on the Government website linked at the bottom of this page.

Support from your energy supplier

In response to the rise of energy costs, most energy suppliers have set up trusts to help their most vulnerable customers.

Each supplier offers different support for their customers:

  • British Gas Energy Trust
  • EDF Customer Support Fund
  • ON Energy Fund
  • Octopus Energy Support Fund
  • Ovo Energy Debt and Energy Assistance
  • Scottish Power Affordability Advice
  • Shell Energy Support Package

To find out more information about the schemes available, you should speak to your energy supplier or visit their website. Links to the websites can be found at the bottom of this page.

British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable trust, that contributes to supporting those in financial difficulty with energy debt. The trust helps families and individuals experiencing hardship who are struggling with gas and electricity debts by awarding grants to clear those debts.

Both customers and non-customers of British Gas can apply for a grant, and you can find more information about the scheme on the British Gas Energy Trust website linked at the bottom of this page.

Warm homes

After a very cold winter, you may be looking at ways to improve the energy efficiency of your property to help lower fuel costs next winter. We have provided information below on advice services and schemes available to residents.

Warm Homes Service

Leicestershire County Council runs a Warm Homes service for residents, giving free advice and information on ways to reduce heating costs and stay warm in your home.

Some of the support available includes:

  • Checking energy tariffs – are you paying more than you need to on your energy bills
  • Grants for heating and insulation measures
  • Energy debt management and help to clear it
  • Checking heating and hot water controls
  • Understanding your properties Energy Performance Certificate
  • Accessing subsidies offered by your energy supplier
  • Support for vulnerable residents

To find out more information and to refer yourself for advice, visit the Leicestershire County Council’s website. There is a link at the bottom of this page.

Energy Efficiency Advice

After a very cold winter, you may be looking at ways to improve the energy efficiency of your property to help lower fuel costs next winter. There are many national and county-wide schemes available to help upgrade properties and reduce heat loss from homes:

  • Green Living Leicestershire
  • Energy Company Obligation (ECO 4)
  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Information and advice about these schemes can be found on our Energy Efficiency Advice page.

Priority Services registers

A Priority Services register is a free scheme offered by gas, electricity and water suppliers for residents in vulnerable situations. Once you register you may receive additional support and special services from each of your suppliers.

Resident on a priority service register can receive extra support such as:

  • Wherever possible, advanced notice if your energy or water supplies are going to be interrupted
  • Priority re-connection if your supply is interrupted
  • Help with reading your meters
  • Sending bills to someone you trust to help you read and check them, such as a relative, carer or friend
  • Sending your bills and meter reading in an alternative accessible format, such as large print or braille.

To register, you will need to contact your energy and water suppliers.

Water Supply

Most households in Blaby district are serviced by Severn Trent Water. You can find out more information about Priority Service Registers for water services from their website. There is a link to the website at the bottom of this page.

You can sign up online through their website or directly by telephone.

Severn Trent Water: 0345 7500 500

Energy Supply

You can find out more information about Priority Service Registers for energy suppliers from the energy regulator Ofgem.

To sign up for the Priority Services Register for your energy supply, you should contact your energy suppliers directly.

In addition to your energy supplier, most households in Blaby district are serviced by National Grid for the electricity network and Cadent Gas for the gas network. There are links to the websites at the bottom of this page.

You can sign up online through their website or directly by telephone.

Cadent Gas: 0800 0745 788

National Grid: 0800 096 3080

Water bills

The water in the Blaby District area is provided by Severn Trent Water who have schemes to help those customers who may be struggling to pay their bills. You should contact Severn Trent Water directly to find out which scheme is best for you and there are links to the website at the bottom of this page.

In the meantime, we have provided overviews of each scheme.

The Big Difference Scheme

The Big Difference Scheme can offer a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £20,048.08. Households with child dependants may be eligible for an additional income allowance more than this amount.

You could get up to 90% off the average Severn Trent bill. The Big Difference Scheme will assess your household income when you apply. That assessment determines how big a reduction you're able to get.

If your application is successful, you'll get a new payment plan. The Big Difference Scheme design a payment plan especially for you. Your new plan will include payments towards any debt on your account.

The scheme runs for 12 months at a time. You'll have to apply again at the end of each year-long period.

You can find out more about the Big Difference Scheme at the link listed at the bottom of this page.

Water Meters

The most accurate and fairest way to get billed for your water is to get a water meter installed at your home. A meter measures the water you use so you will only pay for what you use.

Fitting the meter is free and you can trial a water meter for one year. If you feel like a water meter isn’t right for you during that time, you can switch back to unmetered billing.

If you rent your home, you should check with your landlord if you’d like to have a water meter installed. If they agree to fit a meter, then you can apply to have a meter fitted.

Severn Trent Water will then visit the property to see if a meter can be fitted.

It’s not always possible to fit a water meter. If you are a single occupier and Severn Trent have been unable to fit a water meter, you may be eligible for their Single Occupier Tariff.

You can find out more about water meters at the link listed at the bottom of this page.

Single Occupier Tariff

If you live on your own and Severn Trent Water been unable to fit a water meter at your property in the last 12 months, you could be eligible for a single occupier tariff.

If you rent your home and your landlord has not agreed to let you install a water meter, you will not be eligible for the single occupier tariff.

You do not need to apply for the single occupancy tariff. You’ll be automatically switched to the single occupier tariff from the date Severn Trent Water were unable to fit the meter at your home.

You can find out more about the Single Occupier Tariff at the link listed at the bottom of this page.

Severn Trent Trust Fund

The Trust Fund is a registered charity that provides help to customers who are unable to pay their bill. The fund can help with:

  • Water and sewerage charges if you are in hardship and unable to pay
  • Charges which collected other companies on behalf of Severn Trent
  • Other essential bills, household needs or priority debts

To get help from the fund, you must:

  • Have a valid Severn Trent account number
  • Be in debt on your account, with no way to pay it back
  • Have experienced exceptional circumstances that stop you paying your bill

Please note that Severn Trent Water will no longer be funding the Severn Trent Trust Fund and will stop accepting new water grant applications in September 2023. If you have water arrears outstanding that you cannot afford to pay, they recommend submitting an online application as soon as possible. Further updates will be provided in due course.

You can make an application and find out more about the Severn Trent Trust Fund at the link listed at the bottom of this page.

Broadband and phone

Broadband and phone services are essential for daily living, from claiming benefits to applying for work to grocery shopping. To prevent data poverty and to keep residents connected, more support is being offered for those who need it.

Social tariffs

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband. They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages.

Many phone and broadband providers offer social tariffs and so you should speak to your current provider first. If your provider does not have a social tariff, you can switch to that does. You should check with your provider if they will allow you to switch without paying a penalty fee.

You can find more information including a list of providers and their social tariffs on the Ofcom website. There is a link at the bottom of this page.

Disclaimer

Please note that the inclusion of a link to an external website from blaby.gov.uk is not an endorsement of that website.

Last updated 24 October 2023
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