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Published On: Mon, May 12th, 2014

When You Need a Helping Hand: Coping With Rising Energy Costs

photo Stefan Krause, Germany

photo Stefan Krause, Germany

Rising energy bills are a concern for many of us and some particularly vulnerable sections of our communities like the elderly or the sick, who are often on a fixed or very low income, can find themselves getting into financial difficulties.

Energy companies do aim to provide a lot of support and help for those that are perceived to be vulnerable customers and for these people in particular, there is often a helping hand available to help them cope and also improve their energy efficiency in order to keep their bills as low as possible.

Combined effort

npower offers a good example of how energy companies try to ensure that vulnerable customers are given the support they need. Throughout the winter months of 2013, npower spent in excess of £35 million trying to help their most vulnerable customers and they have a long-standing relationship with the NHS and a national fuel poverty charity called National Energy Action, in a combined effort to help these vulnerable groups to improve their cold and damp homes.

The Warm Home Discount initiative funded by energy companies to the tune of £1.1 billion over a four year period is designed to help reduce household energy costs and

Free improvements

As part of a government initiative known as ECO (Energy Companies Obligation), you may qualify for some free energy improvements such as insulation and other worthwhile energy efficiency measures and there also government grants available, so it would make a lot of sense to check your eligibility and take advantage of a welcome opportunity to make your home warmer and more energy efficient.

Help is often available

There are a number of government schemes currently running that are designed to provide a safety net to vulnerable groups like the elderly who worry about how they are going to heat their home when the cold weather sets in.

Depending on what part of the UK you live, in there are schemes in place where grants and cash payments are available to help cope with energy bills and the ongoing cost of heating your home. The cold weather payment scheme provides £25 for anyone over 60 and £100 for the over 80’s in severe weather conditions, and this payment is made automatically if the temperature is below zero for seven consecutive days.

In addition to cash benefits available, there are also heat and insulation grants ranging anywhere from £3,000 to £6,000 for households who meet a low-income or vulnerable status criteria.

It is never a good idea to try and think you can struggle through and there is plenty of help available to guide you through the process of applying for financial assistance or to help you apply for a grant so that you can provide better insulation for your home, which will help to keep fuel bills more under control than if you don’t ask for the help and financial assistance that you may be entitles to.

Guest Author :

Adam Wilmer researches domestic energy consumption. When not crunching numbers and studying innovations, he frequently writes about smart energy usage in the modern world.

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