Lisa Barber, Which? Home Products and Services Editor, said:
“With the energy price cap at a record high and predicted to rise further in April, many people will understandably be concerned about the possibility of their bills increasing again in October.
“If you are concerned about struggling to pay higher bills, there is help available. Speak to your energy provider about a payment plan you can afford and check to see if you qualify for any government schemes, such as the Warm Home Discount or Cold Weather Payment.
“It’s also worth considering ways you could cut your energy usage at home – such as using a smart meter to better understand and cut back on your energy use. At the moment, most of us will be best staying put on our current deal but if the switching market opens up, it will be worth shopping around for the best price.”
Tips for handling increased energy bills:
1, Help is available if you are struggling to pay higher energy bills. Start by contacting your energy supplier. It might feel like the last thing you want to do, but the company won’t cut off your supply if you work with it to agree how much you can pay.
2, If you’re concerned about rising costs, you should also check if you qualify for any government schemes or benefits, including:
The Warm Home Discount is £140 off your electricity bills if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. You might also qualify if you have a low income – check with your energy supplier for its criteria. Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-grants/article/home-grants/warm-home-discount-asjBE2F6sktp
The Cold Weather Payment is £25 for each seven consecutive days between November and April that it’s below 0°C. Receiving certain benefits will mean that you qualify for this.
The Winter Fuel Payment is £200 if you’re over 66 or £300 if you’re over 80 if you live alone and lower if you live with someone else who qualifies. You should get it automatically if you get the State Pension or another qualifying social security benefit. Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-grants/article/home-grants/cold-weather-payment-winter-fuel-payment-and-fuel-direct-ajAb61U0gPCI
3, You should also look at ways to reduce your energy consumption such as – installing energy efficient light bulbs, home insulation and using your appliances more efficiently.