You may have heard it on the news, read about it in newspapers or seen at first-hand that the prices for everyday costs for energy, fuel and food is rocketing. The cost of living is increasing but we don’t want you sitting at home worrying about it or searching the internet for answers, give us a call now.
You’re not alone. The current situation is affecting everyone and is a real concern, so we’ve pulled together some information which we hope you’ll find useful and to remind you about the support that is available to all customers. We’ve also provided some energy saving tips which can help you save on your bills.
If you’re concerned about how you’ll manage these increases, please speak to our Money Matters Team. They’re experts in benefits and money, so if you’re worried about increasing bills, getting into debt or you just need some handy tips and hints on discounts and grants that could help you through these difficult times, you can speak to us. We’re here to help you.
Here are just some of the ways the team can support you:
Managing your bills
We’ll help you to work out where you can make savings on your bills and cut costs. We can point you in the right direction to get this sorted and help you get support with fuel debt.
Creating a personal budget is a great first step towards taking control and is a really smart investment of your time. We can give you advice about how to make a personal budget planner. When you’re finished, you’ll know how much money you have left at the end of each month – and if you can make savings.
Every Karbon customer has a dedicated Customer Accounts Officer who you can speak to if you have any concerns overpaying your rent. We do everything we can to make paying rent as easy as possible, finding a rent payment plan that fits best with your income and circumstances, and getting you set up with a direct debit so you never fall behind. Remember, you can also view rent statements and manage your payments all online with your MyKarbon account. Contact your Customer Accounts Officer on the usual number 0808 164 0111.
We’re part of the Money Advice Network so can get you debt advice quickly – sometimes on the same day. We can also advise on loan sharks and illegal lending and sign post you to trustworthy alternatives such as credit unions.
Discounts and grants
You could be eligible to save money on your household bills through various grants, discounts and deals. Here’s a few that you may be able to access:
- Household Support Fund
The government has allocated funds to support households with payments to help with essentials such as food, utilities, and clothing. This has been extended until September 2022 and each local authority makes its own decision on who qualifies and how the funds are distributed. Please contact your council about this.
- £150 council tax rebate
If you pay council tax and live in council tax bands A to D, this month, you’ll get a £150 rebate to help pay for energy costs. If you pay by direct debit, this will be paid automatically into your bank account. If you don’t pay by direct debit your council will be in touch with you.
- Grants to help pay off your energy debts
Many of the major energy suppliers have hardship funds and grants that you can access, usually through their websites. Get in touch with your energy supplier if you are having difficulty paying for fuel or need help to clear debt and get back on track.
- Northumbrian Water Support Plus Tariff
Open to all customers who pay Northumbrian Water – reduce your water bill by up to 50%.
Our advisors can work with you to check your eligibility for these grants and give guidance and help to claim.
Maximise your potential income. Our advisors can carry out a quick and free benefits check.
Make sure you aren’t missing out on any potential income by coming to us for a quick and free benefits check. Our skilled advisers generate around £5m per year in extra income for Karbon customers.
Northern Powergrid funds specialist energy advisors who provide customers with support when it comes to energy advice, changing their supplier, checking tariffs, solving billing issues and progressing concerns with their energy supplier. The ‘Powergrid Care Advisors’ help thousands of customers get advice and support to save £100s a year for their household. You can contact them on 0800 448 0721.
Energy saving tips
Here are some useful energy saving tips which can help you reduce your bills…
- Next time you need to replace white goods, buy the most energy efficient appliance you can afford. An energy efficient fridge freezer can save you nearly £80 a year.
- Insulate your home: topping up or adding loft insulation can save you up to £150 a year with a fully insulated home saving almost £300 in energy bills a year.
- Make sure you have thermostat controls for your heating system so you can keep your home warm without wasting energy. You can save up to £75 a year by being mindful of energy use.
- Consider getting smart meters installed to help you see at a glance how much energy you are using.
- Wash clothes at 20 or 30 degrees.
- Don’t leave your gadgets on standby.
- Use energy efficient lightbulbs.
- Keep your main room temperature between 18° and 21°. The best temperature for other rooms is 18°.
- Consider turning down the brightness on your tv.
- Draw your curtains at dusk to save heat loss and draughts.
- Stop draughts using sealants, brushes and rubber strips around windows and doors.
- Only boil the water you need in the kettle.
- Dry your washing outside: it’s spring!
- Regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it is operating at full efficiency.
- Northern Powergrid has launched an Energy Saving app packed with advice, guidance and tips to help you be energy efficient in every room in your home. This leaflet also contains information and advice on how to save money on your electricity, gas and water bills.
Our Foundations for Life Team offer tailored support to suit your needs:
- Digital – In a world that’s becoming more digital, the latest gadgets can seem a little
confusing. We can help you get started with your laptop, phone or tablet. Become more confident using the internet and stay connected with friends and family online.
- Wellbeing – Feel empowered with our wellbeing coaches. It’s bespoke to you, so
whether it’s things like building confidence or getting involved in the community, we’ll work towards your long-term goal.
- Employment / Skills – Find and apply for a new job, gain a qualification or learn a new
Contact the Foundations for Life Team on 0191 223 8750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in touch