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How you could get help with your bills and tips to keep costs down

11:31 am, Friday, 18th March 2022 - 9 months ago

General

As energy prices are on the rise, our home energy team has some tips on keeping bills as low as possible and how to get help if needed, both financially and mentally.

Is it a challenge to pay your energy bills? Are you choosing to heat your home or feed your family? Are you living in a cold home?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions you may be eligible for assistance through one of the following schemes.

Warm Homes Fund:

Fully funded gas central heating to homeowners if you have a gas or coal fire. You must be in receipt of a means tested benefit.

Local Authority Delivery (LAD 2):

Funding for homeowners or private rented properties that have low energy rating D, E, F, G for insulation improvements. This requires a landlord contribution.

Energy Repayment Loans:

Interest free loans available for residents who cannot access commercial borrowing, loans are available up to £3,000 for energy efficiency improvements.

Grants and loans:

Financial assistance may be available to homeowners in receipt of a qualifying benefit for essential housing repairs.

The above schemes do have certain eligibility criteria requirements, to discuss your circumstances contact the home energy team: (01472) 326296, option 5.

Additional support is also available, including:

Big Community Switch – A free scheme that can help residents save money on their energy bills. It’s easy and there’s no obligation to accept the offer, all residents need to provide is their contact details, the name of their supplier and details of their current energy usage and tariff. Due to the current energy market, the team is only registering interest at this stage.

Priority Service register – Register through your own fuel supplier to assist residents who are in vulnerable situations.

Warm Homes Discount – £140 towards your electricity bill, contact your fuel supplier to see if you qualify.

To discuss your circumstances, for further information or to complete an enquiry form contact the Home Energy Team on (01472) 326296, option 5 or visit www.L4WH.co.uk.

Housing welfare support

If you are pension age, severely disabled, live in temporary or supported accommodation, are on a low income or benefits and struggling to pay your bills, you may be able to get help with your housing costs. Visit the benefits page on the North East Lincolnshire Council website or call 0300 3030164, option 3.

Council tax

If your income has changed or you live alone you may be entitled to a council tax discount. The Council can also review your monthly payments, spread them across 12 months, or arrange a payment holiday. Visit the council tax discount page on the North East Lincolnshire Council website, email counciltax@nelincs.gov.uk. Or call 0300 3030164, option 5.

Tenants:

Are you struggling to have repairs completed at your property? If you have reported housing repairs to your landlord in writing and they have failed to carry out the repairs, the Home Improvement Team are available to support you and ensure the repairs are carried out. Contact North East Lincolnshire Council’s Home Improvement Team on (01472) 326296, option 3.

Top tips to reduce your fuel bills:

  • Turn appliances off stand by
  • Install a smart thermostat
  • Turn down your thermostat
  • Buy energy efficient appliances
  • Wash clothes at lower temperatures
  • Insulate your property
  • Take regular meter readings
  • Monitor your usage

And as the spring days begin to welcome us, instead of using your tumble dryer, get your washing outside to dry.

You could do your bit for the environment and reduce the number of car journeys you make. Before getting in the car, think about if your journey could be done by foot or bike. Not only are you reducing your use of fuel, you are getting exercise in the sunshine, helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, and also saving money.

If you’re struggling with your mental health as a result of the ever-increasing costs of living, there are ways you can seek help and support.

NAViGO 24/7

Support for anyone going through a difficult time with their mental health. Call NAViGO on (01472) 256256, option 3.

Shout

24/7 text support – in partnership with NAViGO. Text ORANGE to 85258. You can also drop into the Safespace crisis cafe in Brighowgate, Grimsby. For more information and normal opening times visit https://navigocare.co.uk/what-we-do/services-z/safespace

The Silver Line

A nationwide confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers telephone friendship for older people. Call 0800 4 70 80 90.

Qwell 

A free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service for men aged 18 and over, living in our area. Monday to Friday from 12pm to 10pm and weekends from 6pm to 10pm. One-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support. To register visit: www.qwell.io

The Samaritans 

Help anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure. Samaritans are not only for the moment of crisis but are taking action to prevent the crisis. It’s a safe place to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. They are there to listen. Call for free 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

HEY Credit Union

The friendly community bank. Its safe and handy savings accounts and affordable, responsible credit help you cope with life’s ups and downs and make you better off.

Because it operates not-for-profit, and everyone using the Credit Union becomes a member not just a customer, it’s fair, friendly and on your side. 

HEY Credit Union’s Christmas Saver account is a fantastic way to plan for spends, putting savings – small or large – out of temptation’s way. The Family Benefit Plan is the perfect way to combine saving and borrowing to make your money go further and you don’t need a perfect credit history to get one. The loans are much cheaper than doorstep lenders. £25 bonus for all new members in Grimsby.  All savings are 100 per cent FSCS protected. At Grimsby Central Library Tuesdays to Thursdays and Freeman Street Market on Fridays.

Citizen’s Advice North East Lincolnshire

Free, confidential, independent and impartial advice, information and guidance to anyone who needs it in North East Lincolnshire. They advise on debt, welfare benefits, consumer, employment, housing/homelessness, immigration, legal issues, relationship and families, and any other issues our clients raise. Online advicenel.org.uk, or call 0800 144 88 48, Face to face Melbourne House, Town Hall Street, Grimsby.

Centre4 Advice, Centre4, Wootton Road, Grimsby, (01472) 236675

Free advice service for all in the North East Lincolnshire area. Advice and support on the following; Benefits/Debt & Money/ Housing/ Relationship, Family/ Employment/ Consumer and Advocacy service. Appointment only Mon-Thurs.

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