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Universal Credit claimants can get help with energy bills as British Gas raises prices


Universal Credit payments are tailored to individual claimants circumstances, with more money being awarded for certain lifestyle elements such as having children or covering housing costs. On top of this, claimants may also be eligible for support with their internet bills, council tax or energy costs.

Many may be keen to take advantage of such options in the coming months as energy companies are set to raise their costs across the board.

Yesterday, British Gas and British Gas Energy revealed they would be increasing the price of their variable tariffs and Sarah Broomfield, an energy expert at Uswitch.com, warned more of the same could be on the horizon: “Ofgem’s announcement of an increase to the energy price cap has fired the starting gun on a race to hike bills.

“British Gas is first out of the gate to announce a price rise, confirming that default tariff customers will see bills increase by an average of £97 from April 1.

“We expect to see more of these announcements in the coming days and weeks.”

READ MORE: Universal Credit payments may end up worth less than 2013 amounts

On top of Universal Credit eligibility, a person may be able to get help through this scheme if they are getting child tax credits, PIP, income support or other forms of state support.

It should be noted that if a claimant is renting privately, they must have the owners permission to do the work.

People living in social housing must be living in a building with an energy efficiency rating of E, F or G to receive help for the first time.

Claimants in these circumstances can use the energy performance certificate register to find their property’s energy efficiency rating or ask their landlord or housing association.

According to Ofgem, consumers can contact any of the obligated suppliers to find out how they may be able to help them with this scheme.

They note claimants can benefit from ECO regardless of who you purchase your energy from.

Claimants will not need to buy energy from obligated suppliers in order to benefit.

On the other side of this, they also warn that eligibility for ECO does not necessarily mean that an energy supplier or installer will decide to install an energy efficiency measure in their home.

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