Team Lopez – Last week, Julia Lopez MP’s team visited a parliamentary drop-in surgery on energy and cost of living advice. Mrs Lopez’s team met with the various different stakeholders at the event, and we have outlined below the advice shared by these organisations.
This surgery follows the support announced by the UK Government to assist households with the cost of living:
- The Energy Bill Discount removes £400 off energy bills for households
- A non-repayable £150 Council Tax rebate was provided for all homes in Council Tax Bands A-D
- An Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) has also discounted the unit cost of gas and electricity use until April 2024.
- A £650 one-off payment for those on means-tested benefits
- A £300 payment for pensioners in receipt of the Winter Fuel Allowance
- Those in receipt of disability benefits receive an additional £150.
- The Government announced extra payments of £900 for households on means-tested benefits, a second pensioner payment, and another payment for those in receipt of disability benefits.
To check what you should receive, please see the Government’s website.
SMART ENERGY GB
Smart Energy GB hosted a table on the benefits of installing a smart meter in your home. Smart meters record how much electricity or gas you use, just like your existing meter, but you can see how much energy you are using on an in-home display (IHD). The IHD shows how much energy you are using, as you use it, and how much it is costing. This automatically sends readings to your energy supplier and you then receive your bill based on the amount of gas and electricity you used. You can find more information on smart meters here and advice on saving energy around the home here.
NESTA are working in partnership with Which?, EnergyUK, Octopus Energy and others to encourage households to sign up to the Money Saving Boiler Challenge. Turning down the flow temperature on your combi boiler to 60 degrees or below can knock money off your heating bill and reduce energy waste from your home. You can find more information on the challenge here.
NATIONAL ENERGY ACTION 2022 (NEA)
NEA have produced leaflets to guide households through financial help available and practical steps which can be taken to help keep your home feeling warmer this winter. The contact details for NEA’s advice service can be found here. There is also a webpage for households who may be struggling with their energy bills.
ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BLIND PEOPLE (RNIB)
RNIB have partnered with Smart Energy GB and other stakeholders to develop the accessible in-home display (AIHD). AIHDs have large, tactile buttons, a high-contrast display and a text-to-speech function. More information on AIHDs and energy support can be found here and RNIB’s toolkit on services blind people can access to help with the cost of living can be viewed here.
LOCAL ENERGY ADVICE PARTNERSHIP (LEAP)
LEAP offer appointments with residents to discuss how they use energy in their home and advise residents what particular actions they can take to help keep energy bills under control. More information can be viewed here.
CONNECTED FOR WARMTH
Connected for Warmth is an award-winning energy efficiency programme, managed by AgilityEco in partnership with Affordable Warmth Solutions, and funded by National Grid. It offers cavity wall and loft insulation, as well as heating controls to households throughout Britain. If your Council Tax Band is A-D, then you may be eligible to receive support. More information can be viewed here.