Caring Costs - help with the cost of living
Contents on this page
Click on the headings below to see the information you are interested in
- Financial help to pay my bills
- Who can help me reduce my energy?
- Am I receiving everything I’m entitled to?
- Where can I find low-cost food?
- Where can I spend time in the warmth?
- I feel worried about the rising cost of living
Financial help to pay my bills
Energy Bills Support Scheme
The government will give every household £400 off their electricity bill, in 6 instalments, starting from October 2022. You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back.
Winter Fuel Payment
You should start getting the Winter Fuel Payment automatically once you reach State Pension age, but sometimes you might need to apply. You can find out how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment here or call 0800 731 0160
You’ll automatically get an extra 'pensioner cost of living payment' of up to £300 (depending on your household) with your usual Winter Fuel Payment in either November or December.
Cost of Living Payment
You may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits. You do not need to apply and will be paid automatically. For further information visit Cost of Living Payment
Warm Home Discount
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022/23 if you are a pensioner on Pension Credit under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it's a one-off discount added as credit to your electric bill, between October and March. This will not affect your winter fuel payment.
Cold Weather Payment
You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you're getting certain benefits. You'll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below over 7 consecutive days. If you're eligible, you'll get paid automatically.
Support from your energy company
If you owe money or struggling to pay, speak to your energy provider who has a duty to offer a payment plan you can afford or provide ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter and can’t top up.
As part of the Affordable Warmth Obligation you might be able to get help for energy-saving improvements to your home if you either claim certain benefits and live in private or social housing.
The Priority Services Register
The priority services register is a free support service from your energy supplier, to help you if you are vulnerable, obtain extra/priority support if there’s a power cut, issue bills in large print or braille, or provide a regular meter reading service.
Support from your water company
If you are finding it difficult to pay your water bill,
Severn Trent Water can set up a payment plan or may offer a reduction. Click here to find out about the Big Difference Scheme or call 0345 7500 500 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm).
United Utilities (covering parts of High Peak Derbyshire) can set up a payment plan or may offer a reduction. Click here to find out more or call free 0800 072 6765
South Staffs Water (covering parts of South Derbyshire) can set up a payment plan or may offer a reduction. Call free on 0800 09 30 610 to find out more
Who can help me reduce my energy?
Derbyshire Energy Advice Service
Marches energy agency offers free and impartial advice around energy bills, heating your home and energy efficiency to residents in Derby & Derbyshire. Call 0800 677 1332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
National Energy Action and the Energy Saving Trust
National Energy Action offer warm and safe homes support and advice to people struggling to heat their homes - call 0800 304 7159, Monday to Friday 10.00 am-12.00 noon
The Energy Saving Trust also provides online advice to help save money on your energy bills or use this Simple Energy Advice calculator to see how you can improve your energy efficiency.
Derbyshire Healthy Home
The Healthy Home project offers people with a long-term health condition help with cold homes. You may be eligible for a free energy efficient boiler, loft or cavity wall insulation or other energy saving measures subject to a survey by one of the Healthy Home team. To find out if you're eligible for the project email: email@example.com or call 01629 536919.
Am I receiving everything I’m entitled to?
You may be able to claim or increase your benefits.
A good starting point is the Mobilise's financial checklist for carers which outlines all the welfare benefits carers are likely to consider claiming with details of how to claim, including Council Tax reduction and the Blue Badge Scheme.
You can also visit these useful sites which will help calculate any benefits you may be entitled to:
- Turn2Us – Helpline available: 0808 802 2000, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Mondays-Friday
- Age UK - Advice line available: 0800 055 6112, 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.
- Entitled To
Thousands of people in Derbyshire are missing out on benefits and the welfare rights team can help you find out about the benefits you're entitled to and how to claim. Call 01629 531535 from 11am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your local Citizens Advice can also provide welfare advice.
- If you live in Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash or the High Peak, contact Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts
- If you live in South Derbyshire, contact South Derbyshire Citizens Advice Bureau
- If you live in Chesterfield, contact Citizens Advice Chesterfield
- If you live in North East Derbyshire or Bolsover, contact Citizens Advice NED
Where can I find low-cost food?
Food Banks and Community Pantries
If you are struggling to eat due to the rise in the cost of food, consider using a food bank. You may need to be referred or make a small donation fee and for further information on foodbank location or eligibility visit https://www.ruralactionderbyshire.org.uk/foodbanks
Find out what offers are available from national supermarkets to help with the cost of living https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/discounts-and-offers/
Approved Food sell food at discounted rates, which may be past its best before date (but not use by date) and perfectly good to eat.
Where can I spend time in the warmth?
Warm Spaces and Warm Hubs are free, offering a warm and welcoming environment.
- If you live in Chesterfield and Bolsover, you can find your nearest Warm Space and what it can offer here:
Chesterfield warm hubs – Google My Maps
If you live in Derbyshire Dales, you can attend
- Wednesday 9:30am - 4:30pm (until February 2023) Warm Wednesdays at the Whitworth’ every at The Whitworth, Darley Dale, DE4 2EQ
- Tuesday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm, Derbyshire Record Office, New Street, Matlock Derbyshire DE4 3FE
- Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm Buxton Museum and Art Gallery Terrace Road Buxton Derbyshire SK17 6DA
- Libraries, sports centres and supermarkets offer seating areas and café’s where people can go to be warm.
I feel worried about the rising cost of living
The rising cost of living is having an impact on our feeling of wellbeing . If you want to talk to someone about how you are feeling, please contact
Derbyshire Carers Association on 01773 833833 who can offer advice or connect you with other carers with similar experiences, through their befriending and support services
You can also book a call to speak to someone or connect with other carers through Mobilise who provide online support for unpaid carers in Derbyshire.
Carers support service survey
We’re recommissioning the support service for Derbyshire carers which is currently being delivered by Derbyshire Carers…
Find out more