Energy Price Guarantee
Energy bills were due to rise exponentially, but the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee gives certainty over how much you will pay for energy.
The Energy Price Guarantee reduces the amount you can be charged per unit of gas or electricity, to an annual equivalent of around £2,500 for a typical household. Government support has already cut the typical family energy bill by over £1,300 since October, stopping the average household energy bill from hitting £4,279 a year this winter.
In March 2023 at the Spring Budget, the Chancellor extended the Guarantee until June 2023. Millions also received new cost of living support payments in Spring 2023, following up to £1,200 in support for over eight million low-income households in 2022.
This comes on top of the 2022 support package, which included:
- A £650 Cost of Living payment for means-tested benefit claimants, split into two payments, each of which supported over eight million households
- Further £300 and £150 payments, which reached over eight million pensioners and over six million disabled people respectively
- A £150 Council Tax rebate for all households in Council Tax bands A-D
- A £400 energy bill discount for all households, which will continue to run through March
Through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, similar support is also available for households who get their energy through a communal heating system, or heat network. Find out more here.
Cost of Living Payments 2023 - 2024
In January 2023, the Government announced when further Cost of Living Payments will be made between spring 2023 and spring 2024. These payments are:
- up to £900 for people on an eligible low-income benefit.
- £300 for pensioner households
- £150 for people on an eligible disability benefit
You do not need to apply. You’ll be paid automatically.
Payments for 2023-2024 are expected to be as follows:
- £301 – First Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2023
- £150 – Disability Payment – during Summer 2023
- £300 – Second Cost of Living Payment – during Autumn 2023
- £300 – Pensioner Payment – during Winter 2023/4
- £299 – Third Cost of Living Payment – during Spring 2024.
If you have had a message asking you to apply or contact someone about the payment, this might be a scam.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be paid automatically in the same way you usually get your benefit or tax credits. This includes if you’re found to be eligible for a Cost of Living Payment or a Disability Cost of Living Payment at a later date.
You could get up to 3 different types of payment depending on your circumstances on a particular date or during a particular period:
- a Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying low income benefit or tax credits
- a Disability Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying disability benefit
- a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, if you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023
These payments are not taxable and will not affect the benefits or tax credits you get.
How can energy companies help?
The regulator, Ofgem, mandates that energy suppliers have to help you. Talk to your supplier as early as possible, many of them are providing a variety of support to help pay bills.
Building on existing industry schemes like the Warm Home Discount and Energy Company Obligation and increasing the help already provided through payment holidays, amended repayment plans and emergency credit, suppliers are also expanding customer support teams; providing extra training to frontline staff to help callers; working closely with partner charities and consumer groups; and increasing their own support funds and grant schemes - as well as those run by partner charities.
- British Gas is assisting customers to make payment plans which can make the costs more manageable. There is also more support available for those who are more vulnerable to the price increases too. Access their help here.
- British Gas Energy will donate 10 percent of all profits to the British Gas Energy Support Fund to provide grants to customers for the duration of the energy crisis.
- Eligible customers are being offered grants of between £250 and £750.
- Any British Gas/Scottish Gas customer with less than £1,000 in savings is eligible to apply.
E.ON are offering support for customers by encouraging people to call them on 0345 052 0000 to discuss their needs. They suggest calling if your circumstances have changed, you need more time to pay, you or someone you live with is elderly or has a disability/long term illness. Learn more here.
- E.ON Energy Fund supports the payment of customer debt and the provision or replacement of boilers and white goods such as washing machines, fridges, freezers and cookers when urgently needed by our customers.
- Funding for the E.ON Energy Fund currently stands at over £3.5m, with between £1-2m having been added to the fund each year for the last five years. More than 10,000 awards, totalling nearly £6m, having now been made.
EDF are also providing support to customers in their time of need. They are offering grants through the EDF Customer Support Fund for vulnerable customers. There are also options to set up payment plans to make the cost more manageable. More details can be found here.
- EDF Energy has doubled the amount of financial support available to its customers in 2022 to £10.4 million.
- In 2022, in addition to £4 million of additional support as part of Warm Homes Discount funding, EDF has upped the amount available to customers through its Customer Support Fund by £5 million, to a total of £6.4 million. This fund will be used to help customers in debt or facing financial difficulties.
Octopus Energy has a range of support available to helps its customers including:
- A £5 million Octo Assist financial hardship fund dedicated to helping customers who are unable to afford the cost of living. The fund has already helped over 50,000 customers and recently got increased in size to £7m.
Ovo Energy have launched a £50 million Ovo Customer Support Package, prioritising customers with a real and immediate need this winter.
Their package includes:
- Direct Debit relief, emergency top-ups and payment holidays for customers really struggling to pay their bills. OVO customers who are most in need and eligible for support will be able to contact customer services directly for either emergency top-up credit or temporary payment reductions to their monthly payments.
- Increased emergency credit from £5 to £15 for customers on prepayment meters and a continued commitment to never disconnect a customer. Debt collection suspension extended to customers with young families (children under 5).
- Free energy-saving products for customer's homes, such as smart thermostats and electric blankets – prioritised for those most in need.
- Free boiler services worth £90 to ensure boilers are working as efficiently as possible and help prevent energy waste.
- New Partnership with The Trussell Trust to provide fuel vouchers for those that really need it and additional funding for this vital charity.
- Dedicated support for customers in the most financial difficulty from a specialist team, including support for those in financial hardship for the first time.
In response to the current energy crisis, Utilita has:
- Introduced a hardship fund to help customers write off debt and has doubled the size of its Extra Care Team.
- Expanded the Utilita Community Fund to provide more support to housing associations in making energy more affordable to tenants.
- Contributed £10m to Warm Home Discount Scheme, assisting almost one in ten customers with winter fuel costs.