Cost of Living Crisis:
Resources, support and advice 

Latest government advice and information

The latest government advice for households and businesses can be found by following the link here

It is important to note that if you receive a text, email, or other forms of communication asking you to apply for the new Energy Price Guarantee, it is very likely to be a scam. The discount is applied automatically and there is no need to contact your energy supplier to ensure it is applied properly. You can report any suspicious messages by clicking the link here


Richmond Council
 

Household Support Fund

  • Richmond AID and Citizens Advice Richmond have received Household Support Funding to distribute to low-income households and families during the cost-of-living crisis

 

What kind of support is it?

  • Payments and vouchers for individuals and families towards the cost of food, energy costs and essential items

  • Access to the wider advice service provided by Richmond AID and Citizens Advice Richmond to help residents maximise their household income and manage their situation e.g. support around benefits or debt advice

  • Depending on your circumstances, you could get:

    • Up to £300 for households with 1 or more adults

    • Up to £500 for households with 1 child

    • Up to £600 for households and 2 children or more

 

Who is eligible for the support?

  • Must be over 18 and live in the borough of Richmond and be struggling from the impact of rising costs of food and energy or continue to be impacted by COVID, for example:

    • Reduced pay or lost job

    • Benefits issues

    • Struggling to afford food, energy costs and other essentials, including white goods

    • Extra costs as a result of COVID-19

    • Individuals with no recourse to public funds are also eligible, particularly if:

      • There are community care needs

      • They have serious health problems

      • There is a risk to a child’s wellbeing

 

How to apply

  • Citizens Advice Richmond:

    • Telephone: 080 82 78 78 73 (Freephone. Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

    • Online: Complete the Grant enquiry form

    • Citizens Advice Richmond website

  • Richmond AID:

    • For people with long term health conditions, disabilities and carers please contact Richmond AID by:

    • Telephone: 020 8831 6070

    • Email: advice@richmondaid.org.uk

    • Richmond Aid website

 

Energy rebate payments

  • To help with rising energy costs, the Government announced that eligible households will receive a one-off £150 'energy rebate payment' which will not have to be repaid.

  • Applications for payments must be made by Sunday 11th September. 

 

Who is eligible?

  • The payments are available to eligible households in council tax bands A-D (or in band E and qualifying for the disabled band reduction). If you do not know your council tax band you can find more information here.

  • You cannot live in an HMO, and must either pay council tax, be in receipt of means tested Council Tax Reduction or be exempt for the reasons below: 

    • Your property is occupied solely by students (Class N)

    • Your property is occupied only by a person, or persons under 18 (Class S)

    • Your property is occupied by people who are severely mentally impaired (Class U)

    • Your property is an annexe occupied by a dependant relative (Class W)

 

How to apply

  • View the full instructions on Richmond council's website here and on Kingston council's website here

  • Use this link to apply through the governments portal online

Coldbusters

  • If you get certain benefits or are aged 60 or over and on a low income, you may be eligible for a Coldbusters Grant.

  • This is a locally funded grant for homeowners and private tenants which provides:

    • Central heating

    • New boilers

    • Loft insulation

    • Cavity wall insulation

    • Heating improvements

    • Draught proofing

    • To make an application or find out more call freephone 0800 118 2327 or email coldbusters@thinkingworks.co.uk

 

Free home assessments

  • If you're over 65 or have a long term health condition such as asthma or diabetes, you can benefit from a free home assessment. Richmond Council has commissioned energy saving experts Thinking Works to come and tell you what you can do to make your home warm and cosy and to help you to stay healthy and well.

  • During the home visit, Thinking Works may be able to help with some things immediately or make a referral on your behalf. They can help with:

    • Free small energy and water saving measures such as radiator reflector panels, draught proofing and water saving shower heads

    • Advice on free walks and other exercise opportunities in the borough

    • Free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms if required

    • Free specialist advice on lowering your heating bills whilst keeping warm

    • Benefits check

    • Advice on keeping healthy and well in winter

  • Depending on your circumstances you may be able to get grants for heating, insulation and boiler repairs.

  • Find out more about the free home assessment service

  • For more information, telephone Thinking Works on 0800 118 2327 or email enquiries@thinkingworks.co.uk

Kingston Council

Household Support Fund

  • Aimed at meeting immediate needs amongst Kingston residents who are struggling to afford food, utilities and other essentials

  • To refer an individual or household that you are supporting, they will need to be a resident (or have connection as a homeless person would) in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and one or more of the following eligibility criteria must apply:

    • They have insufficient funds to access nutritional meals between December 2021 and March 2022

    • They have insufficient funds to be able to keep your home warm, electricity or gas on and access to water for cooking

    • They have insufficient funds to be able to afford essentials such as food, toiletries (sanitary products, soap etc), warm clothing, blankets, boiler service/repair, access to equipment including fridges and ovens.

    • A household has an urgent housing need which can not be funded by an existing scheme e.g. housing benefit etc

    • The household have a vulnerability or community care need.

  • The Household Support Fund will be delivered through:

    • Kingston Stronger Together

    • School Holiday Scheme

      • Families with children who are eligible for Free School Meals will receive electronic supermarket food vouchers for the school holiday period. Achieving for Children will also be inviting eligible families with two, three and four year olds to take up the school holiday offer. Eligible families will be emailed supermarket vouchers of £15 per week, per child over the school holiday period.

    • Children's Services Scheme

Government

Winter Fuel Payment

  • If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.

  • You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically (you do not need to claim) if you’re eligible and either:

    • Get the State Pension

    • Get another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit)

    • If you do not get either of these, or if you live abroad, you may need to make a claim

Warm Homes Discount

  • ​A discount for some people getting Pension Credit or some people in low-income household. 

  • This scheme will reopen in November and will allow households to secure a discount of up to £140 on their energy bills. 

  • There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme:

    • you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit - known as the ‘core group’

    • you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme - known as the ‘broader group’

  • When the scheme reopens you will be able to find information on how to apply here

Third sector

Citizens Advice Richmond

 

Richmond AID

  • To speak to a money advisor, click here

 

National Energy Action (NEA) 

  • For advice and support for heating your home, click here or call 0800 304 7159

  • For steps to help you manage your energy bills and keep your home warm this winter, click here

 

Smart Energy GB 

  • For tips on how to make small changes to improve the energy efficiency of your home, click here

  • To find out how to use a smart meter to save money, click here

 

Simple Energy Advice 

  • For advice on how to reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer, plan home improvements and make your home greener, click here 

 

Step Change Debt Charity 

  • For expert debt advice and money guidance help, click here

 

National Debtline

  • For free independent debt advice, click here or call 0808 808 4000

 

The Money Advice Service 

  • For free money advice to help improve your finances, click here or call 0800 138 7777

 

Turn 2 Us  

  • For information on where you can find financial help in your local area, click here or call 0808 802 2000