In this section you will find useful energy advice and guidance including information on the support being offered by the government and other providers, such as the National Grid.
We also share information on keeping warm safely, top tips to help you reduce your energy bills and where you can find help and support.
Rising fuel bills - Government help for households
Through the government’s Help for Households support, most households have automatically received a £400 discount on their energy bills.
The money will be paid in six instalments, so you will see a discount of £66 applied to your energy bills in October 2022 and November 2022 and then £67 a month from December 2022 to March 2023.
This money will be paid in a number of ways. If you pay your bill by Direct Debit, standard credit and payment cards or smart payment meter, the discount will automatically be added to your account.
Traditional payment meter customers will receive a voucher to be cashed at the Post Office or other top up centres.
It has recently been reported that this £400 energy bill support is going unclaimed, as many households who use non-smart prepayment meters are failing to redeem vouchers. You can read more here or watch this video.
Applying for the discount
This £400 discount is not automatic if you:
- Pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner.
- Live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid.
If you’re a Platform customer and don’t have a direct relationship with your energy supplier, perhaps because you live in one of our supported or retirement living schemes, and have a communal electricity supply, you could be eligible to apply for the £400 discount.
Information on how you can apply and advice on whether you are eligible can be found on the www.gov.uk website.
What You Can Do
Top energy saving tips
Change your halogen lightbulbs to LED bulbs. Halogen bulbs use 50 watts of energy, this is enough energy to power 10 LED light bulbs!
Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree will save you money.
Fill and boil your kettle which just the amount of water you need for your cuppa.
Stop draughts by closing your curtains and placing draught excluders by your doors.
Always use lids on your saucepans when cooking.
Rather than switching on your oven, use a slower cooker or air fryer.
Turn your washing machine cycle temperate down from 40 to 30 degrees.
Getting a smart meter will help you understand what your appliances are costing you, so you can see where you might be able to save on any wastage. To find out more talk to your supplier or take a look here
Some households leave their boiler on “long and low”, or permanently at a lower temperature for the whole day, so the machine has less work to do and spends less time in an inefficient mode trying to get up to a certain temperature. However, The Heating Hub have said that this has been shown to use more gas, and that a timed regime – where the boiler is switched on for set periods, such as two hours – is more efficient and can save £130 a year.
Keep warm safely
With the price of energy increasing, it's tempting to look at other ways to heat your home which may not be safe for you and your family.
You can visit the London Fire Brigade website to view their expert fire safety advice which includes portable heater, gas fires and open fire safety advice, plus candle and carbon monoxide safety. The National Fire Chief’s Council has also created a useful Cost of Living – Steps to Stay Fire Safe leaflet which provides further tips and advice.
You can also contact your local fire service for further guidance. If you are not sure who your local fire service is, you can find out more here.
The Warm Spaces initiative is the community response to the cost of living crisis and lots of local councils and community organisations are getting involved to provide a warm welcome to everyone who might need it this winter.
Warm spaces are where local people can:
- Sit and be warm
- Study or work on their laptops (with access to Wi-fi)
- Have a hot drink
- Be with company
- Access advice OR information / signposting to advice on debt, bills, benefits and food
You can visit - Spaces — Warm Spaces or Warm Welcome to see what’s available in your local area. You can also visit your local authority website to find out more, as most local councils are creating their own list of safe places for their communities.
If you are not sure who your local authority is, you can find out by typing in your postcode on the government website.
Energy and Utilities Advice
Many energy suppliers and utilities have their own charitable support and trust funds, so please contact your supplier to find out more:
Act on Energy and National Energy Advice - guidance on how to save money on your energy bills and what support is available.
Energy Saving Trust – advice on how to save money and information leaflets, about how you can get the most from Economy 7 heating.
Consumer Council for Water (CC Water) – information and useful tools to help you reduce your water bills or access financial support. That includes advice on the different types of schemes that water companies provide.