Do not make a choice ‘heat’ or ‘eat’ – continue to buy healthy food for your family, and contact your Utility Company.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills then contact your power company and explain the problem. Let them know if you have elderly or vulnerable people in your home.
If you are in receipt of certain benefits and allowances you may get a £140 discount on your electricity bill. Contact your energy supplier and ask about the Warm Home Discount Scheme
If you are in debt or just having difficulties with cash flow then contact the UK nationaldebtline.co.uk or call them free on 0808 808 4000
This helpline provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems.
The government has set up a one-stop shop to help people manage their finances – it’s independent, doesn’t sell anything, and is available online, over the phone or face to face… www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk Tel: 0300 500 5000.
Locally you can also contact the Citizens Advice Bureaux for guidance on a wide range of issues: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/iwcab
Benefits Check-up – Take 5 mins to calculate what you’re entitled to…
Other organisations such as Homestart and your local Children’s Centres can assist families with young children.
- http://www.iwight.com/wightchyps/Older people
Age UK (IW) can offer guidance on allowances and benefits for those over 50 years old. (01983) 525282.
DWP enquiry line for Pension Credit 0800 99 1234.
Those in receipt of Pension Credit may be able to get extra help towards their fuel costs from the Surviving Winter appeal. On the Isle of Wight please contact The Footprint Trust on (01983) 822282. To make a donation to this scheme please visit… http://hantscf.org.uk/community/surviving-winter.aspx
Grants may be available to pay for fuel and water debts…
Charis grants help people in poverty, suffering or distress who are struggling with their gas, electricity and other bills by awarding grants to clear those debts. www.charisgrants.com
The Southern Water Charitable Trust Fund is a registered charity established to help people facing financial hardship.
The Charitable Trust can consider making a grant towards water and/or sewerage charges for Southern Water customers in financial hardship. Grants can also be made towards the cost of cookers and appliances in certain cases. To be considered for a grant you will need to complete an application form. Your individual circumstances will then be assessed confidentially by a specialist advisor in the Charitable Trust.
For further details you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to a dedicated advisor on freephone 0800 027 0363.
This search engine can also identify grants for those in need; www.turn2us.org.uk
The Footprint Trust offers free home visits to look for ways in which to reduce fuel and water costs. In some cases The Footprint Trust can provide new cookers, fridges and washing machines etc. to those in greatest need.
Complaints about your energy or water supplier
If you have a complaint about wrong billing, inaccurate meter, or general poor service, then you should write to your supplier. If you do not know who your supplier is then ring for Gas: 0870 608 1524 or Electric: 0845 0262 554.
Water for the Isle of Wight is supplied by Southern Water http://www.southernwater.co.uk/about-us/about-southern-water/our-customer-promise/complaints.asp
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your compliant than you can complain to the relevant Ombudsman service.
For Energy: http://www.ombudsman-services.org/energy.html
For water: http://www.ccwater.org.uk/adviceandcomplaints/
The Storeroom offers furniture, at low cost, to people who are not able to furnish their own homes with new items.
They also accept donations of furniture and other household items. Tel (01983) 298679.