Is help available for households struggling with energy price increases?
Yes, there is help available for households struggling with energy price increases.
For households facing challenges with rising energy costs, the UK government and various organisations offer the following help:
- Energy Bill Support Scheme: This scheme provided a £400 discount on energy bills for the winter of 2022 to 2023, although it ended in March 2023.
- Cost of Living Payment: Eligible households can receive an annual one-off payment ranging from £100 to £300. For the year 2023-24, there’s an additional £300 top-up to aid with the cost of living.
- Energy Price Cap: This cap limits the price per kWh home energy suppliers can charge on their default standard variable tariffs, offering protection against sudden price surges.
- Advice and Guidance: Organisations like Citizens Advice and Age UK provide information and support to households on managing energy costs and accessing available assistance.
Staying informed about these support measures can help households navigate and mitigate the impact of rising energy prices.
What help is available to businesses struggling to pay their energy bills?
Yes, businesses struggling to pay their energy bills can access support measures.
For businesses grappling with rising energy costs, there are specific schemes and initiatives in place:
- Energy Bill Discount Scheme: This scheme is available from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. It offers discounts to businesses on their energy bills. Notably, businesses don’t need to apply for this scheme; if eligible, the discount will be automatically applied to their bills. However, it’s worth noting that the assistance provided by this scheme will be less than what was available before April 2023.
- Local Council Support: Some local councils offer small business support funding, which can include grants aimed at sustainable business growth.
- GOV.UK Business Finance and Support Finder: This tool can help businesses identify additional financial support and schemes that they might be eligible for.
- Advice and Guidance: Organizations like Citizens Advice offer information and support to businesses on managing energy costs and accessing available assistance.
In light of the current energy market challenges, businesses are encouraged to explore these support measures and stay informed about any new initiatives or changes that might be introduced.
What should I do if my fixed rate tariff is due to expire?
If your fixed rate tariff is due to expire, it’s essential to evaluate the available options.
Once your fixed tariff ends, your energy supplier will automatically shift you to a standard variable tariff. This default variable tariff is price-capped, which means there’s a limit to how much you can be charged per kWh. Interestingly, this capped rate might be more economical than many new fixed tariffs.
However, it’s always a good strategy to compare the market. By doing so, you can determine if there are any fixed tariffs that are more affordable than the default variable rate. If you find that no fixed tariffs are competitively priced, it might be wise to remain on the default tariff, especially if prices are expected to decrease below the cap in the near future.
In essence, while the energy landscape can be unpredictable, being proactive and informed about your tariff choices can ensure you get the best deal for your circumstances.