Your Money Matters 
 Information and advice for Tameside residents 
 Welfare Reform in 
 Tameside 

 Information and advice for 
 Tameside residents 
 Welfare 
 Reform in 
 Tameside 

Energy Bills

Many people find they cannot afford to heat their home properly. Apart from the discomfort this causes, living in a cold home can be harmful to your health. If you are particularly vulnerable to the cold because of your age or a health condition, it is recommended you keep your living room heated to 21°C (and other rooms heated to 18°C). The more your room temperatures fall below these levels, the greater the risk of you suffering respiratory infections, strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular problems and even hypothermia. In the UK every year, between 30,000 and 50,000 people die in the winter as a result of the cold.

If your home is too cold, increased damp and mould growth can cause damage to your property, as well as being harmful to your health. The best way to stop damp and mould growth is to ventilate your home more, and to raise the temperature in the rooms affected.

Advice

Some practical tips on how to help keep your home warm, and how to reduce your energy usage, can be found here.

Local Energy Advice Programme (LEAP)

Tameside Council is working with a company called Agility Eco to offer residents a new, completely free of charge service to help you save money and keep your home warm and cosy.

How it Works

Once we’ve checked your eligibility, you will get a FREE home visit from a qualified Home Energy Advisor who can help:

  • Install FREE simple home energy measures (LED lighting, draught proofing etc)
  • Give you day to day energy efficiency hints and tips and make sure your heating controller is working correctly
  • Help you check if you are on the cheapest tariff
  • Arrange a FREE telephone advice service to help with benefits, money and bill problems
  • Refer you for further energy efficiency improvements such as loft or cavity wall insulation and in some instances a new boiler

For more information about the scheme visit www.applyforleap.org.uk or call 0800 060 7567

Benefits

1. Winter Fuel Payments

You can get Winter Fuel Payments if you were born on or before 5 August 1953. You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you’re eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you’re eligible but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim.

If you qualify for Winter Fuel Payments, you will get between £100 and £300 (depending on your circumstances). Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by 15 January 2018.

If you are not paid automatically, you have until 31 March 2018 to claim for winter 2017 to 2018. You can contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre by ringing 0845 915 1515.

2. Cold Weather Payments

Cold Weather Payments of £25 are paid to some people for each 7 day period of cold weather (where the average daily temperature is, or is forecast to be, at or below 0°C according to your local weather station).

You can get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting Pension Credit during a 7 day period of cold weather.

You can also get a payment if you are getting Income Support, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, or Universal Credit during a 7 day period of cold weather, but only if you meet other criteria.

Cold Weather Payments should be paid automatically. If you are not paid, and you think you should have been, write to the Department for Work and Pensions as soon as possible.

Other financial help

Depending on your circumstances, some financial support may be available to help make your home more energy efficient, or to help cover the cost of your energy bills.

Useful information on some of the different schemes out there, including local schemes, can be found here.

An on-line tool to help work out which of the national schemes you may be able to get help from can be found here.

Other resources

The Energy Saving Trust website has a wealth of information regarding energy efficiency in the home.

There is also a lot of useful information on the Moneysaving Expert website.

The Charis Grants website has an on-line application form for several charitable grants administered by Charis on behalf of a number of the utility companies

Benefit appeals

Benefit checks and grants

Credit unions

Age Uk New Charter Ashton Adullam Leap Regenda Citizens Advice Action Together Tameside Mind DWP