If you're worried about paying your energy bills, or you're struggling to keep your home warm, we can help by giving you advice on making your home warmer and cheaper to run.
We can advise you on:
- improving your home with energy saving measures
- energy bills and tariffs
- energy debt
- income and benefit maximisation
Fill in our online contact form to ask how we could help you.
You can also find out more below:
Help with heating and energy bills during coronavirus outbreak
If you're having trouble with your heating and hot water during the coronavirus outbreak or are in an at-risk group for coronavirus and can’t afford to get it fixed, give our Warm Homes team a call on 01226 773366. We may be able to arrange a temporary repair or sort out temporary heating, before referring you to Better Homes Barnsley for a boiler replacement, if necessary.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, energy companies have been asked to make some changes to the way they work
- If you're unwell or self-isolating (and because of this, cannot get to a shop to top up your meters) – many energy companies are offering alternate arrangements to help you top up if you can’t leave your home. Give your energy company a ring if this is affecting you.
- If you're unable to pay for your energy bills, your energy company has to work with you to find a solution. This could include: reviewing bill payment plans, including debt repayment plans; payment breaks or reductions in how much you pay; giving you greater time to pay; and in some cases access to hardship funds.
For more details about the changes energy companies are making during the coronavirus outbreak, visit the Ofgem website. If you would like any advice on your energy bills during the coronavirus outbreak, give our Warm Homes team a call on 01226 773366. Our specialist advisers can talk you through your rights and options if you are having trouble paying for your energy.
Grants available for free insulation and heating systems
There's a number of ways to improve your home to make it more comfortable, healthier and cheaper to live in. These could involve insulation to make your home energy efficient, upgrading the heating system, or even installing renewable energy measures.
Grants towards gas central heating for homeowners and private landlords
We're currently offering free gas central heating systems to homeowners, and grants towards the cost of gas central heating to private landlords, whose homes currently lack gas central heating.
If you’re a homeowner and on a low income, or a private landlord whose tenant is on a low income, and:
- you don’t have a gas central heating system in your property
- you have gas fires, electric storage heaters or coal fires as your main heating
then you could be eligible for a grant towards gas central heating, subject to eligibility and surveys.
To apply, contact us by filling in our online form. The funding is available for a limited time only and will be given to those who apply first.
Free insulation and energy saving measures
Barnsley Council has secured funding from the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme to offer insulation and energy saving measures to low income residents this winter.
You could qualify for:
- Solid wall insulation
- Loft insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Underfloor insulation
- Single glazing upgrades
The scheme is open to resident who live in a home which is not energy efficient and who have a household income of less than £30,000 per year.
These energy saving measures are offered free of charge to eligible homeowners and council tenants. Private tenants are also welcome to apply, subject to eligibility and landlord contribution.
Boiler replacements with Better Homes Barnsley
If you're a private tenant, landlord or homeowner living in Barnsley you could benefit from new gas and oil boiler with Better Homes Barnsley.
If you're on a low income you may be able to access additional funding to help towards the cost of the work. Finance packages are also available.
For more information, fill in our online contact form.
Apply for energy bill discounts and benefits
We can check you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to and how you can maximise your income to make your energy bills more affordable. We can see if you may be eligible for three heating-related benefits:
- £140 discount on your energy bills with the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
This should be paid automatically if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. Energy suppliers may also offer this discount to other people who receive certain benefits, are on a low income, or are elderly. To find out if you qualify you contact your energy supplier directly.
- £100 - £300 contribution towards your energy bills with the Winter Fuel Payment.
- Extra help if temperatures fall below a certain level with the Cold Weather Payment.
Pay less for the energy you use
If your bills are high we can advise you about switching energy supplier via one of the Ofgem accredited switching sites. If you don't want to switch energy company, we can help you look for the cheapest tariff with your current provider.
If your energy bill is higher than usual, take a look at these common problems with energy bills on the Citizens Advice website. They also have a tool to help understand the different parts of your energy bill.
Consider having your pre-payment meter removed
There are two kinds of gas and electricity meters. The type you have has a big impact on how much you pay for energy. They are:
- pre-payment meter - you have to pay for energy before you use it, usually through a card or key at a shop
- credit meter - you pay for energy after you’ve used it, usually via direct debit
Paying for your energy with prepayment meters often means you're paying a lot more for your energy.
Contact your energy supplier for more information on how to change your meter. If your current supplier charges a fee to change, consider contacting another supplier to see if they could offer you a free credit meter.
Energy companies are currently offering their customers smart meters, with everyone due to be offered one by 2025.
Getting a smart meter may help you better understand how your home uses energy and help you save money, but you don’t have to accept it if you don’t want one.
You can find out more about smart meters on the Smart Energy GB website.
Get help with energy debt
If you're responsible for the arrears but can’t pay them up front, try to make contact with your energy company as soon as possible. Before you call, write down your incoming and outgoings and work out how much you could afford to pay back as a repayment plan – making sure this amount is realistic. When speaking with your energy company make sure you tell them if you're on a low income or benefits, or if there's anyone in your home who is elderly, disabled or under five years of age.
Trusts and funds that can help clear energy debt
There are several energy trusts and funds which can help clear debt on fuel bills.
In some cases these trusts and funds can also provide payments to help with the cost of buying essential, energy-efficient household items. We can help you with applying for these; contact us using our online form.
Register for priority service from your energy supplier
You might be able to get extra support from your energy supplier by signing up to the priority services register if you:
- are disabled or seriously ill
- are recovering from an injury
- have mental health problems
- don’t speak or read English well
- have children under 5, or are pregnant
- have reached your state pension age
- are in a vulnerable situation
Benefits of priority service can include free energy saving advice, a password protection scheme to protect you from cold-callers, your meter moved free of charge if it’s hard for you to use or read, and bills sent to a relative, carer or friend to help you check them. You might also get advance notice if your supply is going to be interrupted, priority re-connection if your supply is interrupted, and annual gas safety checks (subject to further eligibility criteria). Find out more on the Ofgem priority services register website.
To find out if you’re eligible to join the priority service register, speak to your energy supplier or contact us.
Where else you can get help
Contact us for advice using the contact form or phone number. We can help you with:
- energy saving options for your home
- switching energy supplier
- Better Homes Barnsley funding options
- help with fuel debt
- keeping warm in winter
If you live in a council property you can find out more about energy efficiency on the Berneslai Homes website.
If you're a housing association tenant, contact your landlord directly for more information.
Council flexible eligibility – statement of intent
Under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Regulations 2017-2018, local councils are able to set their own eligibility criteria for funding for energy efficiency works to private sector housing. This funding has to be aimed at those residents who are at the most risk of living in fuel poverty.
We're adopting two different approaches to determining which households are eligible for this funding, and details of these can be found in our flexible ECO statement of intent.
Please note that the final decision on whether funding is available to individual households will be made by the energy suppliers and is based on the following factors:
- the survey carried out and installation costs
- the energy savings that can be achieved by having the work done
- whether suppliers have funding available at the time of application