According to the New Economics Foundation ‘more than 34% of the population – as many as 23.5 million people – will be unable to afford the cost of living this year’.
This recent crisis has come off the back of high inflation prices, the global pandemic, conflict in the Ukraine and other global economic factors, creating a melting pot of impacting external factors which have forced the cost of living to soar. With fuel process on the rise, higher weekly food shop bills and energy companies increasing prices by 54%, UK families are facing a devastating cost of living crisis.
This impact is set to be felt more significantly in areas outside of London, with the Northeast of the UK having 44% of all families falling below the minimum income standards.
Debt charity Step Change have recently warned that more people will fall into debt as they struggle to pay bills. ‘Cost of living pressure’ has now entered the top 5 reasons why people fall into debt within the UK.
Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, has offered limited advice and tips on how to keep costs down and heat the home during this crisis but fears it may not be enough. With energy bills set to increase by 53% an average of £693 annually per household, people are now facing real choices of whether to heat their homes or feed their families. Now, latest reports suggest that this is now set to increase to £2800 in October 2022.
The Money Saving Expert website has suggested ‘if you’re falling behind on payments, the best thing to do is contact your energy bill supplier as soon as possible. Under rules from regulator Ofgem your supplier must help you – usually by negotiating a payment plan you can afford. Here are some of the ways you can bring your energy prices down [including things your energy supplier can do]:
- A full payment plan review.
- Affordable debt repayment plan.
- Payment reductions/breaks (not available to everyone).
- Ask your energy supplier for more time to pay.
- Access to hardship funds.
- Access financial Government and Energy Supplier funds – including the recently announced non-repayable £400 grant.
Another way in which you can cut costs is via the Ofgem ECO Scheme. Ofgem have helped to tackle energy prices, fuel poor homes and the UK’s carbon footprint is by the introduction of the Energy Companies Obligation scheme which sees obligated suppliers promoting measures which increase the capacity of vulnerable, low-income and fuel poor household to heat their homes.
The ‘ECO’ scheme involves procedures that lead to heating savings, including the installation of insulation or a new heating system. This scheme is divided between the suppliers based on their share of the domestic gas and electricity sector.
Every month when we pay our energy bills, we are all subject to a small climate change levy, totalling a couple of pence but when added up becomes a substantial pot from which Ofgem and the obligated suppliers can run this scheme.
For consumers who meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme [usually low income, fuel poor or vulnerable homes] we can help to access the funding on their behalf and work with you to make your home more energy efficient and keep rising costs down. At Eco Home Insulation we access these funding measures and install modernised insulation and heating measures into our consumers house for FREE.
By installing these modernised insulation and heating measures into your home you can generate real savings on your bills and reduce the amount of carbon emitted from your home all for free.