What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills

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This is the discussion thread for the What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills guide.

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Comments

  • Sea_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,336 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Although this is about energy, is might be seen by more of your target audience if you'd also post it on the debt boards.

    Sometimes people stick to sub-forums and don't venture over here.
    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 2.31% of current retirement "pot" (as at end March 2024)
  • Ok, forgive me for upsetting anyone here but I'm a single mum who works hard but has no disposable income.  I am not eligible for any benefits.  I won't get help with increased bills, why do I not get help for working hard yet others that do not work continue to receive even more help???  It's true, the system is broken.  I am actually going to be selling my home as I can no longer afford to live here and my children being young adults are going to have to find their own way as I can no longer be that mum that tries to support them, now young people getting on the property ladder is a whole different conversation, it's so hard for them too.... thanks 'Great' Britain'.
  • Hi,

    I'm a little concerned about the £200 AFP payment, I received this today but I'm not on an alternative fuel. I use a heat pump for heating and am not connect to the gas grid, I'm aware this is not within the requirements set out by the government. Should I contact my supplier? Are they going to take the payment back off my meter?

    Confused
  • dxpanda said:
    Hi,

    I'm a little concerned about the £200 AFP payment, I received this today but I'm not on an alternative fuel. I use a heat pump for heating and am not connect to the gas grid, I'm aware this is not within the requirements set out by the government. Should I contact my supplier? Are they going to take the payment back off my meter?

    Confused
    The automatic eligibility is if you live in an area off the mains gas grid and the predominant form of heating in the area is not electric.

    As you've received the payment, your area meets those criteria and you are entitled to it.  You won't be asked for it back - the government knew some of us would accidentally benefit without using alternative fuels by doing it this way rather than requiring individual applications from everyone, but the majority of those receiving it this way would be those using alternative fuels because of the requirement to be an area where the majority of heating is something other than electric.

    Lots of threads on this board, with further info and explanation if you need it https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/categories/lpg-heating-oil-solid-other-fuels
  • ariarnia
    ariarnia Posts: 4,225 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 21 February 2023 at 9:58AM
    tan2311 said:
    Ok, forgive me for upsetting anyone here but I'm a single mum who works hard but has no disposable income.  I am not eligible for any benefits. 
    as a mum of 2 on a decent income we are also not eligible for income related benifits but its worth getting in touch with your local council library and school. theres lots of help available for parents thats not income assessed if you are struggling (with things like after school and holiday activities, school uniform, help with tranport to and from school etc). any money you can save there can help out in other areas.    

    but also worth checking if you could get/are getting child benifit, council tax credit and wtc/ctc if you havent already.  only takes a couple of mins. https://www.turn2us.org.uk/

    and if your kids are old enough for you to feel comfortable then theres also the rent a room scheme which is something like £7k a year tax free. 
    Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. Anne Lamott

    It's amazing how those with a can-do attitude and willingness to 'pitch in and work' get all the luck, isn't it?

    Please consider buying some pet food and giving it to your local food bank collection or animal charity. Animals aren't to blame for the cost of living crisis.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,082 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    dxpanda said:
    Hi,

    I'm a little concerned about the £200 AFP payment, I received this today but I'm not on an alternative fuel. I use a heat pump for heating and am not connect to the gas grid, I'm aware this is not within the requirements set out by the government. Should I contact my supplier? Are they going to take the payment back off my meter?

    Confused
    The automatic eligibility is if you live in an area off the mains gas grid and the predominant form of heating in the area is not electric.

    As you've received the payment, your area meets those criteria and you are entitled to it.  You won't be asked for it back - the government knew some of us would accidentally benefit without using alternative fuels by doing it this way rather than requiring individual applications from everyone, but the majority of those receiving it this way would be those using alternative fuels because of the requirement to be an area where the majority of heating is something other than electric.

    Lots of threads on this board, with further info and explanation if you need it https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/categories/lpg-heating-oil-solid-other-fuels
    How exactly do they determine an ' where the predominant form of heating is not electric'? The gov't don't know who is on alternative sources (oil, LPG, coal, wood), nor can they determine from the size of an electricity bill (even if the supplier gave them access to the billing data) whether the user is heating with it or not? What databases are they using to determine the recipients of the AFP?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • tan2311 said:
    Ok, forgive me for upsetting anyone here but I'm a single mum who works hard but has no disposable income.  I am not eligible for any benefits.  I won't get help with increased bills, why do I not get help for working hard yet others that do not work continue to receive even more help???  It's true, the system is broken.  I am actually going to be selling my home as I can no longer afford to live here and my children being young adults are going to have to find their own way as I can no longer be that mum that tries to support them, now young people getting on the property ladder is a whole different conversation, it's so hard for them too.... thanks 'Great' Britain'.
    @tan2311 can I urge you to post a thread over othe Debt Free wannabe board for assistance on this. Selling a home you own should categorically be an absolute last resort, and should never be as a result of unsecured debt, just i case for anyone else reading that is a picture that is in play. If you post over o DFW, with your full, open and honest Statement of Affairs (the link for this is in my signature below) then  we can take a look, hopefully find some savings that you may have been missed (you'd be surprised how much the stress of struggling to make ends meet means that people can miss even seemingly "obvious" savings) and hopefully help you to get to a position where you hold on to the roof over your head. Look at it this way - what do you have to lose?  
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
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  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,287 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    edited 21 February 2023 at 10:46AM
    Sea_Shell said:
    Although this is about energy, is might be seen by more of your target audience if you'd also post it on the debt boards.

    Sometimes people stick to sub-forums and don't venture over here.
    I've posted the link to the DFW board in case Chris doesn't see the suggestion. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • macman said:
    dxpanda said:
    Hi,

    I'm a little concerned about the £200 AFP payment, I received this today but I'm not on an alternative fuel. I use a heat pump for heating and am not connect to the gas grid, I'm aware this is not within the requirements set out by the government. Should I contact my supplier? Are they going to take the payment back off my meter?

    Confused
    The automatic eligibility is if you live in an area off the mains gas grid and the predominant form of heating in the area is not electric.

    As you've received the payment, your area meets those criteria and you are entitled to it.  You won't be asked for it back - the government knew some of us would accidentally benefit without using alternative fuels by doing it this way rather than requiring individual applications from everyone, but the majority of those receiving it this way would be those using alternative fuels because of the requirement to be an area where the majority of heating is something other than electric.

    Lots of threads on this board, with further info and explanation if you need it https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/categories/lpg-heating-oil-solid-other-fuels
    How exactly do they determine an ' where the predominant form of heating is not electric'? The gov't don't know who is on alternative sources (oil, LPG, coal, wood), nor can they determine from the size of an electricity bill (even if the supplier gave them access to the billing data) whether the user is heating with it or not? What databases are they using to determine the recipients of the AFP?
    Census data.  Again explained in the numerous threads on the relevant subforum, but here you go 
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1130933/domestic-alternative-fuel-payment-scheme-suppliers-guidance.pdf

    p.8 
    Census data on heating type. Provided by ONS and is used to identify the LSOAs that are eligible for automatic payments. BEIS will use this data to eliminate LSOAs that have been identified as predominantly having houses which heat their homes via electricity …

    [People who use alternative fuels but have been excluded from the automatic payments either because their area does predominantly use electric forms of heating, or if they are in an area with mains gas, will have to apply through a gov.uk page next month.]
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