Government support in the energy crisis

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Energy prices are very high right now.

If you're on a variable tariff, the energy price cap sets the maximum unit rate and standing charge you'll pay.

The energy price cap went up in April, and will probably go up again in October.

Want to know more? The BBC explain what the energy price cap is here.

The government and energy suppliers have a number of different schemes to help customers pay for energy.

There are three types of support:

  1. Special government help during the energy crisis
  2. Regular yearly government support
  3. Octopus support

We'll explain who each is for, how to get it, and when you can expect to get it.

Note: all information on Government schemes is correct as of July 2022, but may be subject to change.

Our Energy Crisis Information Hub Information about the energy crisis, links to resources, and answers to a tonne of frequently asked questions: what's driving the crisis, what support is available, how are Octopus weathering the storm, and more.
Support for Octopus Customers How to access help if you're struggling to pay, from our £6 million Octo Assist fund to schemes like free electric blankets and more
Wondering how to save money on your bills? With prices higher than ever, quick and easy energy saving tips could save you up to £400

Government support for the cost of living

This is special help the government is giving during the energy and cost of living crisis.

There are a few different support schemes involved. You might already be receiving some of it.

Others you might not have heard of, but be able to get.

£400 Help With Energy Bills Payment

We're continuing to discuss how this payment will work with government, and as soon as we know the exact details we'll let all of our customers know.

Who gets this?

Everyone in the UK who is a domestic energy customer.

Domestic energy customers are people who pay for the electricity and gas they are using for their homes, not for businesses.

How is it paid?

The £400 will be spread into several monthly payments across Winter.

It'll be paid by your energy supplier into your energy account balance.

If you are a Prepayment customer you will be given vouchers.

Prepayment customers are people who pay for energy before they use it.

When is it paid?

Payments should start in October 2022.

Different People will probably be paid at different times over winter.


£150 Council Tax Rebate

Visit the gov.uk page for council tax rebate for more detailed information.

Who gets this?

People who live in houses that are in council tax band A - D.

Your council tax band depends on how much your house is worth.

How is it paid?

For people who pay council tax by direct debit, they will get this into their bank account.

For people who don't pay council tax by direct debit, they will get a letter from the council telling them how to get the £150.

When is it paid?

Most people getting this money have been paid already.

What if I haven't had the £150 yet, but think I should've had it?

You should check your council tax band on a council tax bill.

If you are in council tax band A - D, you should contact your local council.


£650 Cost Of Living Payment For People On Benefits

Visit the gov.uk page on cost of living payments for people on benefits for more detailed info.

Who gets this?

People on benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

How is it paid?

Into your bank account.

When is it paid?

£326 in July 2022, and £324 later in 2022.


£300 Cost Of Living Payment For Pensioners

Visit the gov.uk page on cost of living payments for pensioners for more detailed info.

Who gets this?

Pensioners who can get Winter Fuel Payments.

How is it paid?

When you get your Winter Fuel Payment, you'll receive an additional £300.

This money is not taxable and doesn't stop you from getting other types of benefit.

When is it paid?

November or December 2022.


£150 Disability Cost Of Living Payment

Visit the gov.uk page on disability cost of living payments for more detailed info.

Who gets this?

People on some types of benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

How is it paid?

Into your bank account.

This money is not taxable and doesn't stop you from getting other types of benefit.

When is it paid?

September 2022

Regular yearly government support

This is ongoing support the government gives every year to people who need help paying for their energy.

You might already be receiving some of it.

Others you might not have heard of, but be able to get.

£250 - £600 Winter Fuel Payment

Visit the gov.uk page on Winter Fuel Payments for more detailed info.

Who gets this?

Pensioners:

  • People who get Pension Credit
  • People born before 25th September 1956, who are in the UK for at least one day between the 19th - 25th September 2022
    • This is called a 'qualifying week'

Some people on different benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support

The payment is different depending on your circumstances.

You should already be getting this if you are meant to be getting it.

How is it paid?

Into your bank account.

When is it paid?

November or December, but no later than 13th January 2023.


£25/day Cold Weather Payment

Visit the gov.uk page on Cold Weather Payment for more detail.

When does this happen?

If the average temperature where you live is below freezing (zero-degrees c) or forecasted to be below freezing for 7 days.

Who gets this?

Pensioners:

  • People on Pension Credit

Some people on different benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

How is it paid?

Into your bank account.

When is it paid?

Between 1st November 2022 and 31st March 2023.


£150 Warm Home Discount (England and Wales)

Visit the gov.uk page on Warm Home Discount for more info.

Who gets this?

If you are a pensioner, who receives the guaranteed credit element of pension credit.

If you live in England or Wales and are on means tested benefits, and live in houses with high energy costs.

A means tested benefit is one where the money, and whether you can have it, are based on how much money you make and already have.

These benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credits Savings Credit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

How is it paid?

By your energy supplier into your account balance with them.

If you are a Prepayment customer you will be given vouchers.

Prepayment customers are people who pay for energy before they use it.

When is it paid?

Late October 2022 - March 2023.

Find out more on our Warm Home Discount information page.


£150 Warm Home Discount (Scotland)

Visit the gov.uk page on Warm Home Discount (Scotland) for more info.

Who gets this?

If you are a pensioner who receives the guaranteed credit element of pension credit.

Other people in Scotland have to apply for Warm Home Discount.

To be able to apply, you need to live in Scotland and get means tested benefits.

A means tested benefit is one where the money, and whether you can have it, are based on how much money you make and already have.

These benefits are:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credits Savings Credit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits

How is it paid?

By your energy supplier into your account balance with them.

If you are a Prepayment customer you will be given vouchers.

Prepayment customers are people who pay for energy before they use it.

When is it paid?

Late October 2022 - March 2023.

Find out more on our Warm Home Discount information page.

Octopus support

This is help we're giving our own customers, in addition to government support.

Financial Assistance

We set up a £2.5 million Octo Assist fund at the start of the crisis, and have now doubled it to £5 million.

So far we've given specialised support to over 100,000+ customers.

Fill in our Financial Assessment Form and we'll direct you to different support and schemes available for you ..



Other schemes

We're doing all we can to keep tariffs as low as possible for everyone – we have the cheapest variable tariff of any large supplier, £50 under energy price cap.

There are a number of different ways we can help:

You can read more these schemes on our 'how we're helping our customers' page here.



Published on 15th July 2022 by:

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Shaun McHugh

Writer

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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