Energy bills are rising but there’s a way for hard-pressed households to save up to £150 a year with a little-known service.
The average household’s bills will rise by £3,000 a year from next April after the government increased the Energy Price Guarantee.
But those concerned about meeting the costs can find help through the Local Energy Advisory Partnership (LEAP).
This is a free service designed to help people with the cost of replacing old boilers or appliances, and people can also get free appliance and bill advice.
Kyle James, also known as @ThatPropertyGuy on Tik Tok, often shares nifty tips on how households can save on their energy bills.
In one of his recent videos, he revealed how some can get free energy-saving gadgets through the LEAP service.
He said: “Energy prices are rising and your bills are about to go up, so now is a good time to apply for these free energy-saving measures.
“Visit LEAP and if you qualify, you can apply for remedies and free advice.”
In the video, Kyle lists the gadgets available through the service, including energy-saving extension leads and lightbulbs, draft excluders and radiator reflector foil.
Some homes can also get chimney flues, which reduce drafts.
The average household could save around £150 a year by simply using LED lightbulbs, draft excluders, chimney flues and radiator reflector foil.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that switching to LED lightbulbs could save you £55 a year.
Meanwhile, draft excluders can save you £45 a year and radiator reflector foils can save you £50 a year.
Who is eligible?
Depending on what you are applying for LEAP you will need to meet different eligibility criteria.
If you use Bill Advice and Gadgets, you should get the following:
- Employment and Aadhar Allowance linked to income
- Contribution-Based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income support
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Pension Savings Credit
- Child Tax Credit / Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- Housing benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
- Disability Benefits (including Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance DLA, PIP, Severe Disability Allowance)
- Industrial Injury Disability Benefits
- Gross annual household income of less than £31,000
There are different criteria if you need to replace your boiler or appliance.
For example, if you want to replace a boiler, which can cost up to £3,000, you must have a family member aged 65 or over, aged five or under or suffering from any one of a number of illnesses, including cancer.
Meanwhile, if you want to replace an appliance, you’ll need to get some benefits, including housing benefit, universal credit and income support.
For more details and a full list of qualifications, you should visit applyforleap.org.uk.
How can I apply?
You can apply on the LEAP website, which notes that it is experiencing “unprecedented demand” for the service.
This means that applications in some areas may be closed. Referrals are only being accepted by partners in this area, such as Citizens Advice.
The service is however fully open to Scottish residents.
Alternatively, you can call to see if you qualify.
The number for English residents is 0800 060 7567 and for Scottish residents the number is 0800 029 4543.
What other bill help can I get?
The Government announced millions in benefits in its Autumn Statement and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off of £900.
Eight million households currently receive living expenses payments of up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also said pensioners would receive a £300 lump sum payment.
The current “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” is being paid to millions of people on low incomes.
If you normally receive winter fuel payment you are eligible under the current rules, but this may change under the new rules.
A cost of living payment of £300 is paid on top of other winter support.
You must be:
- Born on or before 25 September 1956
- Have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week known as the “eligibility week” from 19 to 25 September 2022.
Plus, struggling families are eligible for warm house discounts this winter.
Households in England and Wales do not need to apply to receive the cash and will automatically qualify if they receive certain benefits.
You can read more about who’s eligible here.
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help if you’re struggling.
British Gas has just confirmed it will pay its most vulnerable customers £750 worth of subsidies which will see them skyrocket.
Ask your supplier what they have to offer and how to apply or check here: