THOUSANDS of households have just weeks left to get an extra £150 to help with the cost of living.
The money is being dished out by local authorities to the most hard-up households, as everyone battles pricey bill rises.
Energy bills for the average household rose from £1,971 to £2,500 a year on October 1 when the government's Energy Price Guarantee came into effect.
On top of the main council tax energy rebate scheme councils have been given £144million discretionary fund.
Those who are not eligible for the £150 will be able to apply, like those living in council tax bands E-H.
It means they don't miss out on support just based on the postcode lottery of where they live, even if they're struggling.
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But Stoke-on-Trent City Council is warning residents that they only have until November 30 to claim their share.
The council says households in bands E-H that were in receipt of either council tax support, disabled band relief or a severe mental impairment exemption on April 1 will receive the one-off payment of £150 payment.
Eligible households will be identified automatically and don't need to apply.
Payments will be made either directly to bank accounts, or onto the council tax account where direct debit details are not available.
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Young people under the age of 18, who were liable to pay their energy bills, but were not liable for council tax they live in, will also receive a one-off payment of £150.
But not only that, plenty already in receipt of the £150 Council Tax Rebate can get a "top-up" too.
That means they get money on top of the £150 they may have already received.
Eligible households do not need to contact the Council to receive this payment, and will receive an amended bill once this payment has been made to the council tax account.
How can I cut my energy bills?
You could slash your energy bills by 7% a year if you flush out any sludge in your central heating system.
If you turn your boiler's flow temperature down as well as any thermostatic radiator valves in some rooms – you could save around £180 annually on your energy bills.
Topping up loft insulation and switching to a smart meter can bring a household a further £230 worth of annual savings, according to Nesta.
It is also important to ensure that when your boiler's running that there's no draught.
Ventilation is good for health and air quality but it's the first place where heat will escape.
If there's a draught, grab a draught excluder and plug the gap. You should also ensure your windows are closed before the sun sets.
It's also worth closing your curtains before it gets dark as the heat will then stay inside your home.
Another great way to ensure you save money is to turn off your boiler when you're not using the water.
Most boilers or thermostats have a setting to allow you to schedule when the heating turns on and off.
Consider what rooms in your home need heating. You won't be using each one 24/7 so make sure the heating is off in any rooms that aren't occupied.
What energy bill help is coming?
From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
In November, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over the state pension age.
Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
Check if you can get an energy grant
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
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The British Gas Energy Trust has previously paid struggling households up to £1,500 – and you don't need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this help.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
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