If you are struggling to pay for energy, water, phone or broadband bills, we recommend making sure that you are making the most of all available benefits, grants and payments, including the Household Support Fund. You may be eligible for more than you think.
Ridgewater Energy and LEAP support
Ridgewater Energy provides advice and assistance to any of our residents in fuel poverty.
- expert energy saving advice
- insulation, heating and renewable energy
- free appliances and energy saving products
- a better, healthier quality of life
- lower energy bills
They can assess your eligibility for various schemes and grants, and source funding and quotations for insulation, heating and renewable energy upgrades. They also have a number of downloadable factsheets available.
The Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) service is also managed by Ridgewater Energy, and offers a free home visit to eligible residents throughout Dorset.
All households with a total annual income of less than £31,000 are eligible. For further details on eligibility, please visit their website.
See Ridgewater Energy's energy and money saving booklet for more advice and support.
Support from energy providers
Various energy providers are offering support and funds for those who are struggling with energy bills. We recommend contacting your own energy provider as soon as possible if you are struggling to keep costs down. The British Gas Energy Trust offers assistance regardless of which energy supplier you are with.
These websites may be able to help with your bill if you are struggling to pay:
Broadband and phone packages
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Ofcom has information on social tariffs and the providers that are currently offering them.
Help with your TV licence
The Simple Payment Plan was created for those in financial difficulty.
Qualifying customers can choose from either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan that spreads the cost of a TV licence over 12 months, this means you make smaller payments more frequently, helping you to better manage your finances.
TV Licensing accepts referrals to the Simple Payment Plan from not-for-profit organisations such as charities or your local authority money advice department. It cannot accept referrals from commercial organisations.
If you would like to speak to someone about your finances, an online form has been created by a number of partner agencies, designed to get you to the most appropriate help in three simple steps. There are many not-for-profit organisations offering free, confidential and independent advice. Any not-for-profit organisation providing this service can refer you to us to join the Simple Payment Plan. More information on the simple payment plan and how to access it can be found on the TV licensing website.
There are other TV licence concessions, which you might be eligible for depending on your circumstances. There are concessions available for:
- people who are aged 75 or over and receive Pension Credit
- people who are blind (severely sight impaired)
- people who live in qualifying residential care and are disabled or over 60 and retired
Citizens Advice BCP mobile outreach vehicle - to help make reaching their services that little bit easier. The Community Advice Vehicle will be in these areas across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in the coming months.