Get help managing your energy costs this winter

Hi, it’s Luke from team Bulb here :wave: We work closely with some great organisations who can offer extra support to manage your energy or your monthly payments. We all use more energy staying warm over the winter, so now’s a great time to get familiar with the help and support that’s available.

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount is a government grant of £140 to help you with your energy costs over winter.

Two groups of people are eligible for the Warm Home Discount.

You’re in the ‘core group’ if you were a Bulb member and you were getting the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit on the 4 July 2021. You don’t need to apply for the Warm Home Discount. We’ll give you £140 credit automatically before the 31st March next year.

The second group that’s eligible for the Warm Home Discount is known as the ‘broader’ group. It doesn’t matter when you joined Bulb, you’re in the broader group if you receive certain low-income benefits and you match an additional eligibility criteria for the scheme. :white_check_mark: You’ll need to apply to receive the Warm Home Discount.

Places are limited, so we process broader group applications on a first come, first served basis.

You can read more about the scheme or apply for the Warm Home Discount in your Bulb Account. :house: :money_with_wings:

Tully

If you’re struggling to make your energy payments because you’re in a difficult but temporary financial situation, Tully can help. Tully is an independent organisation that helps people keep on top of their finances and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you get in touch to let us know your payment is currently unaffordable we’ll refer you to Tully for a financial assessment so that we can reduce your monthly energy payment to an affordable amount for 90 days. The financial assessment is an online form which asks for some information about your situation before using your banking apps to work out a realistic budget based on your circumstances. Tully will make a recommendation to Bulb about how much you can afford to spend on energy right now.

We will then change your monthly payment to the recommended amount.

Tully will make a recommendation to us every 30 days over a 90 day period about the amount you can afford to pay towards your energy bills. This may result in your energy payments going up or down. We’ll always provide 10 working days’ notice of any changes to your payment or Direct Debit.

Get support to manage your payments through Tully.

Impartial Support

If you’re struggling with debt on your account, or keeping up with payments or top ups, it’s really important to let us know. You can always speak to us and we can support you in applying for some of the schemes mentioned in this post.

There are also organisations such as StepChange and Citizens Advice that can provide free, impartial advice on your finances.

Fuel Direct

Fuel Direct is a government scheme that arranges for your energy bills to be paid directly out of benefit payments. You can apply if you’re having trouble paying for your energy, if you have a debit account balance with us, or if you receive certain benefits. The benefits that can be used are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit

To apply for Fuel Direct, contact your local Jobcentre Plus, or your pension centre if you receive Pension Credit.

Energy saving advice

We recently published part one of our energy saving series on community, which covered how to check the Energy Performance Certificate for your home. We’ve also got some handy energy saving guides, like this one to get your home ready for winter.

If you’re based in Wales, it’s worth checking out Nest. This is a government scheme that helps people living in Wales receive free home energy improvements such as a new boiler, central heating or insulation. Head to the Nest website to see if you’re eligible.

If you’re based in Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust Scotland offers free and impartial advice over the phone alongside offering site visits and grants to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Reducing your households energy costs (My ECO Home)

The Energy Company Obligation (or ECO) scheme is a government initiative to help reduce a household’s energy costs.

The ECO scheme is awarded as a grant to cover the cost of improvements that increase household energy efficiency, such as new insulation and/or boiler replacements. You can see which home improvements are covered in this Which? article. A more efficient home takes less energy to heat, which helps to save you money on your energy bills.

If you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits you may be eligible for ECO funding.

We’d recommend you visit our friends at myecohome.org to see if you qualify.

If you do qualify, they’ll help take you through the next steps in booking a survey followed by the installation of the home improvement.

The Priority Services Register (PSR)

The Priority Services Register is a free support service offered by your supplier if you or someone you live with needs help to manage your energy supply.

The types of situations that make you eligible are:

  • If you have anyone over the age of 60 or under the age of 5 living in your home.
  • If you have any long term medical conditions.
  • If you have medical equipment that relies on a power supply.
  • If you have any mobility issues.
  • If you require any alternative forms of communication, like letters in braille.

We can offer additional support services to members on our Priority Services Register. These services include priority reconnection after a power cut, or quarterly meter readings for anyone who has trouble accessing their meter. You can find a full list of extra support services in our Help Centre.
Even if your friend or family member isn’t with Bulb, they can still register with their current supplier, as it’s a free service that every supplier offers.

Register for our Priority Services Register in your Bulb Account.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. So if you have any questions about these services, or think there’s services we should include then please let us know below and we’ll do everything we can to support you :point_down:

Luke

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