Energy giant E.ON is offering free energy efficient boiler replacements to homeowners under an Affordable Warmth scheme, as households grapple with 'I can only afford to boil my kettle once a day because of energy bill struggle'.
Ahead of a higher price cap rise for 15million people this April, the company said those who qualify under the Affordable Warmth criteria will get a new boiler, without any charges.
The scheme applies if you’re on a low income and your current boiler is faulty or broken.
Under normal circumstances, homes that qualify would have to pay a £395 contribution, however this charge has been waived until midnight on Sunday, January 30.
To qualify homeowners must be in receipt of certain benefits or live with someone who claims state support.
On average, the Energy Savings Trust estimates a typical gas boiler replacement to cost £2,500.
You do not need to be an E.ON or E.ON Next customer to ask for help – you can apply online here.
This offer will be subject to a home survey and if there any additional works needed, the homeowner may be required to pay a contribution.
Affordable Warmth is a government scheme aimed at encouraging people on low incomes to improve the energy efficiency of their homes by offering free or partially funded energy improvements, for example cavity wall and loft insulation or replacement energy efficient boilers.
It is separate to the government's Green Homes Grant -a £2billion scheme, launched to help homeowners pay for energy saving improvements for their homes by installing measures such as wall insulation, solar panels and air source heat pumps. The grant is available via your local authority.
Who qualifies for the scheme
You could qualify for funding if you own your home, and you or someone living at the property receives one of the following benefits and has an income below one of these limits.
Pension Credit Guarantee Credit Element Income-related employment and support allowance ESA Income-based jobseeker’s allowance JSA Income support Working and Child Tax Credits Universal Credit Armed forces independent payment Attendance allowance Carer's allowance Disability Living Allowance DLA Severe Disablement Allowance War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Personal Independence Payment Constant Attendance Allowance Child benefits
The saving does not interfere with the Winter Fuel Payment, Warm Homes Discount or Cold Weather Payments.
If you’re on a low income, are considered vulnerable, are retired or claim certain benefits, you could be entitled to a separate discount this year.
People born on or before September 26 1955 could get a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300.
A Cold Weather Payment can be claimed by people of all ages on low incomes.
Both are paid automatically to those who are eligible.
Sarah Coles at Hargreaves Lansdown explains: “At this time of year, and with energy bills soaring for so many of us, it’s essential to get any help you’re entitled to.
“Some of these things will come to you automatically if you’re entitled to them, like the Cold Weather Payment and the Winter Fuel Allowance.
“However, if you qualify for the Warm Homes Discount, you’ll need to apply for it. How this works will depend on how you qualify.
“If you get the guarantee element of the pensions credit you’ll get a letter telling you how to apply. If you’re on a low income, you should approach your energy company to find out if you qualify and how to apply.
“Don’t assume you won’t get any help, get in touch and see what help is available.”
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Cold weather payments
If you're on a low income, you may qualify for a Cold Weather Payment of £25 for every week deemed 'freezing' in your postcode.
The money goes to people on low incomes who receive a qualifying benefit, such as pension credit or certain employment benefits, when temperatures sink to below 0°C in the area they live in.
Payments are triggered by data collected by the Met Office from 94 weather stations around Britain.
The scheme runs each year from November 1 to March 31 every year.
If you do qualify, you'll get a £25 a week payment for every seven-day spell of cold weather you experience.
You’ll be paid automatically after each seven-day period of freezing weather. This money should arrive in the bank account you already have registered with the DWP -and payments should be made within a fortnight.
Contact the pension centre or your local Jobcentre Plus office if you think you should have received a Cold Weather Payment but didn't.
Contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160. Check your postcode for the Cold Weather Payment here.
Warm Home Discount
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
This is not money paid to you -it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.
Two groups of people qualify for it.
The money is paid if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit -known as the ‘core group’ or if you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme -known as the ‘broader group’.
Your electricity supplier decides who can get the discount based on whether it is part of the scheme and what its allowance is for the year.
Check with your supplier as early as possible to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.
Check with them even if you were eligible for a discount last year.
Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31 March 2022.