£400 Energy Grant
As part of the Government's 'cost of living support' package all households with a domestic electricity meter will get a £400 energy grant.
This will be automatically paid by your supplier between October 2022 and March 2023. The payment will come as six separate payments - £66 in October and November, then £67 for the remaining months. How it's paid depends on how you pay for your energy:
- Direct Debit customers will receive the Energy Bill discount automatically as a deduction to the monthly Direct Debit amount collected, or as a refund to the customer’s bank account following Direct Debit collection during each month of delivery
- Standard Credit customers and payment card customers will see the Energy Bill discount automatically applied as a credit to standard credit customers’ accounts in the first week of each month of EBSS delivery, with the credit appearing as it would if the customer had made a payment
- Smart Prepayment Meter customers will see the Energy Bill discount credited directly to their smart prepayment meters in the first week of each month of delivery
- Traditional Prepayment Meter customers will be provided with redeemable EBSS Energy Bill discount vouchers or Special Action Messages (SAMs) from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post. Customers will need to redeem these at their usual top-up point.
Gas and Electricity
Since 2015 Energy companies have been required to put customers onto the cheapest available tariff suitable to their needs. If you are unsure whether you are on the cheapest tariff or you would like to compare the costs of your energy bills please contact your energy provider directly or visit the Money Saving Expert website at the following link:
You can also use price comparison tools to check your usage and costs for energy providers which are readily available on the internet by searching price comparison tools.
If you are on a low income or over a certain age you might also be able to receive help.
Extra Government support is provided for people who are older and those on particular benefits. This includes the:
Warm Home Discount Scheme – This is a one-off discount on your electricity bill and has now increased to up to £150 for winter.
Winter Fuel Payment – This is a payment for older people of between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.
Cold Weather Payment – This is an extra payment where there is a spell of very cold weather. Cold Weather Payments have now increased to an extra £25 a week.
Additionally, for those struggling to pay energy debts, grants are available to help. Contact your energy supplier directly to find out more or read the Citizens Advice information page on grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills. If your energy supplier does not provide a grant scheme you can apply to the British Gas Energy Trust for help. These grants are available to everyone whether you are a British Gas Customer or not. To check if you are eligible use the following link: Grants Available – British Gas Energy Trust
Ofgem increases level of price cap
The energy price cap increased on 1 April 2022 for approximately 22 million customers. Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017. The increase is driven by a record rise in global gas prices over the last six months, with wholesale prices increasing by five times compared to last winter.
Ofgem information regarding help can be found here
The government has announced a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23. This includes a £200 discount on their energy bill this Autumn for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain. This will be paid back automatically over the next 5 years.
South East Water provide drinking water in the Maidstone & The Weald area with Southern Water providing all the wastewater services. You can check the area of operation here.
You might be able to reduce your water bills by transferring to a water meter. If this is something you are considering, please visit the following link which provides helpful information on transferring to a water meter:
South East Water operates a WaterSure Tariff for those on a water meter, in receipt of certain benefits or who live with children or where a member of the household has a medical condition that requires the use of a significant amount of water. In addition, the company has in place a number of ways they can assist people who are struggling to pay. To find out how you can pay less for your water you can ring Southern Water on 0800 027 0800, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can access links to their sites below:
Alternatively, you can call Southern Water for free on 0800 027 0363 if you think you are eligible for one of their schemes and Affinity Water on 0800 697 982.
Help with paying Council Tax
The Council Tax Support Scheme helps some people with paying Council Tax. The amount of support you can get will depend on your income and personal circumstances.
To check your eligibility and make a claim, contact Maidstone Borough Council. The direct link to the form is:
In addition to the Council Tax Support Scheme some people and properties might be eligible for a discount or exemption from Council Tax.
As part of its response to the rising cost of energy, the Government announced:
- A £150 non-repayable rebate in Council Tax bills for all households in April 2022 which are liable for council tax in Bands A-D in England.
- £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax rebate
- Where council tax is not paid by direct debit, councils are required to contact households as early as possible.
Broadband and TV
For those on low incomes or in receipt of certain benefits there are low-income broadband packages available which provide a basic broadband connection with some packages also offering to waive connection fees. For more information about the packages available and to check eligibility please visit Uswitch at:
Broadband deals for low-income families
Further advice and information on how to reduce broadband and TV costs is also provided at the Money Saving Expert website at the following link
Broadband & TV Guides
Most advisory organisations recommend contacting your provider directly for help if you’re struggling with your mobile phone bill. Your provider may be able to help by sorting a payment plan, reducing your bill, giving you more time to pay, increasing your data or download limit or moving you to a contract which suits your needs better.
Detailed advice is provided by Citizens Advice in relation to options that might be available if you are struggling to pay your mobile phone bill on their website at
If you’re struggling to pay your mobile, phone, internet or TV bill – Citizens Advice
Alternatively, you can call Citizens Advice Consumer helpline directly for help on 0808 223 1133.
Housing Support Fund
Maidstone Borough Council has received funding from Kent County Council and Government to support households who would otherwise struggle to buy food or pay essential utility bills or meet other essential living costs of housing costs this winter as the economy recovers.
Eligible support could include:
- Energy and water (including sewerage)
- Essentials linked to energy and water
- Wider essentials subject to discussion
- Housing costs in exceptional cases of genuine emergency
To find out more please the MBC website