Energy bills for UK households to increase by £139
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Last month, Ofgem revealed that the energy price cap will rise from October 1, 2022 for the 15million customers who are protected by it. As a result of the fossil fuel crisis, people on default tariffs who are paying via direct debit will experience a substantial increase of £139 from £1,138 to £1,277. This staggering bill increase from Britons comes amid the Government’s plan to hike National Insurance payments by 1.25 percent and scrapping the Universal Credit, adding insult to injury to many financially struggling households.
As well as the energy bill hike, the Government has also temporarily scrapped the triple lock pledge on the new state pension.
As a result of this, elderly Britons are receiving less money in their pension than what was previously promised, which leaves many in a financially precarious situation.
Despite these drawbacks, some pensioners will be able to receive a £300 discount to help pay for their energy bills through the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment scheme.
This payment scheme is essential for many pensioners across the country and is set up to help people survive the hard winter months.
What is the Winter Fuel Payment?
Anyone who was born on or before September 26, 1955 will be eligible to receive anywhere between £100 and £300 to help pay for their heating and energy bill.
People who will be residing in the UK for at least one day during the week of September 20 to 26 2021, which is referred to as the “qualifying week”.
As well as this, recipients of the Winter Fuel Payment need to be also getting the state pension and another qualifying benefit, such as Child Benefit or Universal Credit.
Pensioners should automatically receive this Winter Fuel Payment if they are eligible, as those who receive it do not need to put forward a claim.
Those looking to receive this payment will not get it if they are in hospital getting free treatment for over a year or need permission to enter the UK.
Winter Fuel Payments are usually made automatically sometime in November and December of the claimant’s qualifying year.
At the very latest, recipients of the payment should receive the £300 discount by January 14, 2022.
If you are eligible for Winter Fuel Payment, there is the opportunity to apply for a Cold Weather Payment instead.
This benefit is given to Britons who have an average temperature in their area of zero degrees celsius, or below that over the period of a week.
Cold Weather Payment includes £25 for each seven-day period of extremely cold weather between November 1 and March 31.
Jonathan Brearley, Chief executive of Ofgem, outlined what Britons should do to calm their concerns regarding the energy bill crisis.
Mr Brearley said: “Higher energy bills are never welcome and the timing and size of this increase will be particularly difficult for many families still struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
“The price cap means suppliers only pass on legitimate costs of supplying energy and cannot charge more than the level of the price cap, although they can charge less.
“If you’re struggling to pay your bill you can get in touch with your supplier to access the help that’s available and if possible, shop around for a better deal.”
However, for many pensioners across the country, having to beg suppliers for a reduction on their energy bills is not a viable solution.
Those who are not receiving Winter Fuel Payment, but are in need of financial assistance, are encouraged to check eligibility.
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