Check your energy bills – you might be entitled to a discount

We get many calls from carers struggling with bills and finances. Have a look at some of the information below as this could be useful. Also, check out the Money Saving Expert website as there is quite a bit of information.

Discount on water bill

Severn Trent offers up to 90% off your water bill if a household income is below £18,278.

Please see the link below:

https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/help-when-you-need-it/help-with-paying-your-bill/big-difference-scheme/ 

Help with Council Tax (https://www.moneysavingexpert.com)

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/severe-mental-impairment-dementia-council-tax-rebate/ – for those with certain conditions including dementia. 

Council tax discounts you could get based on your circumstances

Gas & electric bill- managing your account

Are you owed money on your energy bill?

You can claim back credit you think an energy supplier owes at any time.

Get in touch with your provider to see if you are in credit.

A credit can happen for many reasons. It means you’ve paid more than your usage to a supplier – so they owe you money. Or you’re choosing to build up your credit balance to spread the cost across the year.

Building up a credit balance

A live account is one you have with your current supplier. You could build up credit by:

  • choosing to spread the cost of your energy usage over the year. You use less energy in the summer than you do through the winter
  • using less energy than you pay for. For example, your supplier could overestimate your bills if they don’t have regular, accurate meter readings.
  • paying a fixed amount by direct debit, even though your energy use changes. In summer for example. We would expect this credit to reduce when you use more energy in winter.
  • suppliers taking payment at different times in a billing period. For example, if a supplier works out your bills from quarterly usage data but you pay a monthly amount. Some suppliers ask for an upfront payment when you start a contract so you keep a credit balance too.
  • paying by prepayment meter. Your balance is in credit until it is used.

Giving regular meter readings so your bills reflect accurate usage can help prevent a credit build-up.

Smart meters can help you easily monitor and control what you spend on your energy too.

This guide shows ways a credit balance could build up. It also explains how to claim it back and when refunds should be automatic.

When to claim

You can ask your supplier to refund you at any time. Suppliers must do so promptly unless they have reasonable grounds not to.

Before claiming a refund, think if:

  • it could be difficult paying your bills without a credit balance
  • your usage or costs could increase in the coming months (such as over winter).

Suppliers typically review accounts every year with actual meter readings. They may then automatically refund credit balances.

To Claim

Contact your supplier.

You’ll find details of your current supplier on a recent energy bill. Or log into your online account if you have paperless billing.

They may ask you for a current meter reading.

If you aren’t happy with their response, make a complaint.

Related Adult Carer, Finances, My Rights

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Raising awareness with BBC Radio WM

Our own Pauline Manby shared with Merisha Stevenson of BBC Radio WM, the work we do to help support and raise awareness for unpaid carers. Watch the segment here.

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