Spring may be here, but we know winter money worries are still being keenly felt
- Residents urged to seek help with increased energy costs
- Approximately £9m in funding already paid out by Council
As we move into spring, the need to heat our homes may seem less of a worry, but the cost-of-living crisis still looms large for many residents.
If you are struggling due to winter fuel bills, please seek advice. You can access help via our Cost-of-Living Hub, where you can find details of the energy schemes still open for applications. These include the new Alternative Energy Fund Schemes for those who were not included in the first round of government energy funding schemes and those who rely on alternative fuels.
Councillor Adam Yates, portfolio holder for Finance and Economic Regeneration, said: "The past year has been incredibly challenging for residents when it comes to covering day to day costs that seem to continually rise. But there is help available.
"Council staff have gone above and beyond to facilitate and pay out around £9m in funding to the residents and businesses of West Lancashire, and there is funding still available.
"If you're struggling, please visit our Cost-of-Living Hub, whether to access warm spaces that can help you keep your home heating costs down, or to find out if you are eligible for financial help."
See below for energy payment support schemes currently open for applications: (all schemes subject to eligibility criteria – please see www.westlancs.gov.uk/costofliving for full details of schemes and other forms of help available unless otherwise stated)
The Local Council Tax Discretionary Energy Support Scheme
This is to support households with rising costs by awarding a reduction on their council tax account.
Household Support Fund
The Household Fund is to assist residents with significant rising living costs. It is intended to help those who do not have enough resources to meet immediate short term needs and require assistance with essential items over the coming months. This includes energy bills. (applications close on 31 March 2023)
Fuel Voucher Support – Citizens Advice Bureau
West Lancashire Citizens Advice Bureau can provide fuel support for those on pay as you go meters.
Fuel Voucher Scheme - New Ground Together
If you are struggling to pay for fuel, West Lancashire Borough Council can refer you to New Ground Together if you are on a pre-payment meter.
Government Energy Bill Support Schemes – Alternative Funding
This scheme is intended to provide the £400 of support for households across the UK that would otherwise miss out on the Energy Bill Support Scheme, as they do not have a domestic electricity contract. Apply via https://www.gov.uk/apply-energy-bill-support-if-not-automatic. (Following application, West Lancashire Borough Council will verify and make the payment.)
Alternative Fuel Payments
This scheme is intended to deliver a one-off payment of £200 to UK households who are not on the mains gas grid and therefore use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, to heat their homes. Apply directly to the government via Apply for alternative fuel bill support if you do not get it automatically - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). (Following application, West Lancashire Borough Council will verify and make the payment.)