Many of us are concerned about the rising costs of everyday essentials such as energy, food, and other household expenses. If you’re struggling with the cost of living, this webpage aims to highlight support available and advice to lower your bills.
Central government financial support - 'Help for Households'
Cost of living payment
Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, should have received a payment of £650 in 2022. This was made automatically in two installments, one in the summer 2022 and another in the autumn 2022. This was in addition to the £400 discount on energy bills.
Disability cost of living payment
From 20 September 2022, six million people who are paid certain disability benefits should have received an automatic one-off £150 payment. The payment aimed to help disabled people with the rising cost of living acknowledging the higher disability-related costs they often face, such as care and mobility needs.
This was in addition to the £650 cost of living payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits.
Pensioner cost of living payment
In the winter months pensioners are eligible to receive between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills.
Last winter (2022/2023), they received an extra one-off £300 pensioner cost of living payment, which was paid as an automatic top-up to the winter fuel payment.
Council Tax energy rebate
We have distributed the £150 non-repayable energy rebate for households living in Council Tax bands A to D. This was paid out automatically to residents who pay their Council Tax by direct debit and to the bank accounts of those residents who applied online.
The government also provided funding for billing authorities to operate a discretionary fund for households in need who would not otherwise be eligible. We identified and contacted residents who matched this criteria.
Government energy bills support scheme (EBSS)
The government provided support for households, including £400 off energy bills. This discount was applied to qualifying energy bills over winter 2022 until the end of March 2023.
Government energy bill support scheme - alternative funding (EBSS AF)
The government announced two schemes for those households who were not entitled to the £400 discount via energy support scheme.
Alternative energy payments
This energy rebate was aimed at residents who did not benefit from the government energy support scheme (£400 reduction on electricity bills) because they live in households with no domestic electricity meter or do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier.
Residents eligible for this payment included:
- care home residents
- residents of park homes
- tenants in certain private and social rented homes
- homes supplied via private wires
- residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites
- farmers living in domestic farmhouses
- off-grid households.
Alternative fuel payments
This scheme delivered a one-off payment of £200 to UK households who are not on the mains gas grid and use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, solid fuel, biomass or bottled gas, to heat their homes.
Eligible households eligible received payment automatically via their electricity supplier in February 2023.
Energy price guarantee and the energy bills support scheme
Pre-payment meter customers were eligible for the full benefit of both the energy price guarantee and the energy bills support scheme.
The energy price guarantee was applied to the rate you paid for each unit of energy, so the money you put on the meter lasted longer. The discount was applied automatically by your supplier.
Pre-payment meter customers were also entitled to the £400 energy bills support scheme. Eligible residents received the discount from the first week of each month.
Help for members of the armed forces community
In response to increases in the cost of living, the Royal British Legion has launched everyday needs grant, providing up to £2,400 over 12 months for members of the armed forces community.
Household support fund
This fund is temporarily unavailable.
Surrey crisis fund
The Surrey crisis fund is a discretionary fund run by Surrey County Council. It provides financial help to Surrey residents who have nowhere else to turn in an emergency or following a disaster. It also can provide assistance to set up a home in the community where no other funds or resources are available.