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Finding it hard to meet your home's energy costs this winter?

Are you finding it hard to meet the cost of energy for your home this winter? The average annual fuel bill is now 140% higher than it was 10 years ago, and in these tough economic times fuel poverty can affect anyone. But there is help available to you if you need it.

The Government offer a range of benefits and grants that you may be entitled to and wouldn’t have to pay back.

  • Did you know all pensioners can claim a Winter Fuel Payment of at least £200? You should get this paid automatically with your pension, but if you didn’t receieve this and are entitled then you can make a claim.
  • Age UK have produced a guide for older people, with general advice on how to stay well and keep warm in winter. You can read 'Winter Wrapped Up' here.
  • The Government’s Warm Front scheme offers up to £3,500 worth of work to improve your home to make it warmer and more energy efficient. It can pay for things like loft or cavity wall insulation and draught-proofing.

    You could really notice the reduction on your gas and electricity bills each year. Visit the Warm Front website for more information. This scheme is only running until the end of March 2013, so it’s worth looking into it now. 

    You will need our permission to fit insulation, and it's important that we check if there is asbestos in your roof or walls. Please contact Carley Driscoll on 020 8821 5388 or email us for more information. 

  • There is also a Warm Home Discount available of £130 off your electricity bill, available to customers of many major energy companies.

    To check if you’re eligible, as well as for more information on these and many other benefits, please visit the Gov uk website.  

Switching your energy provider could also save you money. Try a comparison site like uSwitch to check you’re getting the best value deal for your needs.

If you’re on a meter, make sure you provide regular accurate readings to your provider. This will ensure you pay for what you use, not for estimated usage which is often higher. 

You can contact Citizen’s Advice Bureau for independent advice on utilities, debt, managing your money and much more. Visit the Citizen's Advice Bureau website, or call 08444 111 444 for details of your nearest branch.