We’re sure you will have seen plenty on the news and online about the rising costs of energy bills that are coming into force from April 1st 2022. We know that this will affect many residents in the Aberystwyth area, so we wanted to share what we know so far in terms of available assistance and tips.
Shop around when it comes to your utilities, especially if you are coming to the end of your contract. We would recommend looking to make sure that the new utility company you choose has suitable policies to help you incase you do run into some difficulty paying the bills. These could be policies such as splitting payments over a longer period, or even access to a hardship fund.
We know it’s Spring already, however here is something else to keep in mind for next winter – most county councils offer Warm Home Discounts, which you can check online to see if you or your household is eligible. This can help you with up to £140 off your energy bills.
Residents over the age of 66 might already be aware, but if you’re not, then you are also eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, which can be as much as £100 – another useful pot of money to help over the winter period. Keep an eye out for that at the end of 2022.
Did you know, that there is a lot of help out there if you are struggling to pay your bills? Especially in terms of free debt advice. First of all, check if your utility company has a hardship fund. A useful scheme to know about is the Debt Respite Scheme, where you can potentially get 60 days respite from debts – essentially, breathing space. StepChange is a great website where you can check your eligibility.
Aside from paying the bills, there are some things you can do at home too to try and reduce the bills. Consider your boiler, according to Money Saving Expert, 55% of our household energy bills go directly on heating, and you can save up to £315 a year by installing a newer, more efficient boiler. Of course, that might not be realistic for you, and what we’d suggest as a minimum is ensuring your central heating system is serviced annually so that you know it’s working to the best of its ability (no leaks, blockages, cold spots).
You could also look at cavity wall installation and loft insulation to ensure your house keeps the heat you are paying for – if you look at both, Money Saving Expert claims you could save up to £555 a year.
Did you know that if you are paying by direct debit for your energy bills, you can save up to £90 a year? More often than not, utility companies will apply a little discount each month if you are paying in regularly, rather than paying for your bills quarterly or annually. Every little helps!