Advice for vulnerable energy customers as the cold weather bites

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) welcomes the Government’s recent proposals to protect more households from poor value tariffs by introducing a tariff cap on gas and electricity bills.

However as temperatures plummet and look set to remain low for the coming month, vulnerable energy consumers need to know what they can do now, to help them stay warm and healthy at home.

So here’s some advice and information to help:

  • Do call your energy supplier if you are struggling to pay your bills or you are worried about running into debt. Your supplier will help you, they may be able to offer a better tariff with them or provide help through the Energy Company Obligation scheme
  • Your supplier may be able to offer you extra help if you are vulnerable with a variety of services available through their Priority Services Register. This includes you being exempt from disconnection during the winter months
  • If your current supplier isn’t able to help you get a better deal, do shop around using an Ofgem registered price comparison site, you may be able to save significantly
  • Call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or visit nea.org.uk/advice for advice on energy saving
  • Make sure you are claiming all the benefits to which you are entitled. Accessing benefits will not only increase your income but may passport you to other forms of financial assistance. The Charity Turn2us provides a benefits calculator visit: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Find-Benefits-Grants
  • If you smell gas call the 24 hour emergency hotline on 0800 111 999
  • Help others by passing on advice to vulnerable friends and family members. In the short term wrapping up warm, having hot drinks, using hot water bottles, blocking draughts, and heating at least one room in the house can all make a difference in the cold weather.

NEA’s Fuel Poverty Action Guide also provides detailed information on how to identify and assist people in fuel poverty.

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