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Cost of living support and advice

Make sure you’re not paying more than you need to on bills and everyday costs, like gas, electricity and daily essentials. The information on this page will help you get started.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF)

The government is providing support from EBSS AF of £400 for energy bills for households in England, Scotland, and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier. The scheme is open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.

Who can apply

  • care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (wholly or partly self-funded)
  • park home residents, houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
  • social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
  • homes on a heat network/private wire
  • off-grid homes
  • farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes

How to apply

If you are eligible for EBSS AF, you will need to fill out a short online form via the GOV.UK website. This form can be found by searching “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” into the search bar on GOV.UK or an internet search engine. Find out more about government help with your energy bills.

You can also apply via a contact centre on 0808 175 3287 – a representative will guide you through the application process. If you know anyone who isn’t online that might eligible, please share this number with them.

Pre-payment vouchers for non-smart meters

Do you pay for energy by topping up a pre-payment meter? If you’re on a traditional (non-smart) meter you should be getting a voucher in the first week of every month.

Vouchers will be sent by post, text message or email and you’ll need to redeem them within 90 days.

Here’s how to redeem your vouchers:

If you haven’t received your vouchers it could be that your energy provider has out of date details for you, for example if you have a new mobile number or email address etc. Check your email junk folders to see if vouchers are there and get in touch with your energy provider to make sure they have the right contact details for you.

  • Money Saving Expert explains what you can do if you haven’t got your vouchers or if you’re having problems redeeming them.


Broadband and phone bills

  • Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit, and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.
  • If you can’t afford the cost of your broadband or mobile phone, Money Saving Expert can tell you how to get a better deal.
  • Get online and stay connected for free with My City Wi-Fi at more than 70 buildings around the city. My City Wifi is free superfast internet access without entering a password or any personal details

    Read a full list of My City Wifi sites, some of these are warm spaces too.