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Energy Crisis

You might have seen the phrase in the news, but what is it, and what does it mean to be in an ‘Energy Crisis’?

It means the price you pay for the fuel you use is going to increase significantly in the coming months.

Ofgem are the governing body for the sale of energy, and they manage a price cap which sets the maximum price energy companies can charge for every unit of electricity or gas you use. The price cap is not a limit on your total bill.

This price cap is expected to increase every 3 months going forwards in order to reflect the rising wholesale price of fuel. This is to prevent more energy companies from going bust, which usually results in a big price increase for consumers.

Households across the UK are going to be paying more for their energy than ever before, with 2 in 3 households spending 10% of their income on their energy bills.

If you’re worried about the crisis and what this means for your energy bills, please see all of the support we have available on this page.

Simple energy efficiency improvements

Portsmouth City Council has launched Switched On Portsmouth to help residents keep their homes warm at an affordable cost and support households struggling to pay energy bills.

From help and advice to free energy and money saving initiatives, see what you are eligible for.

Visit the Switched On Portsmouth website or call the team for free on 0800 260 5907.

Energy saving actions and installations in your home can save you money, make it easier to heat and improve the health of you and your family.

Energy advice

Portsmouth City Council works in partnership with LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) to provide energy saving advice to residents struggling with their fuel bills across Portsmouth and the surrounding areas (PO1-PO13).

LEAP provides a FREE home visit service that offers energy advice, free small energy saving upgrades, and access to further funding for loft and cavity wall insulation.

To book a free home visit:

Please note that LEAP might experience a high demand of services during the winter months of 2022 and 2023 given the projected increase in energy bills.

Free energy efficiency upgrades for your home

Portsmouth City Council has secured funding through the Sustainable Warmth Scheme administered by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to offer households funding to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

There is up to £10,000 of funding per household available for qualifying measures, including solid wall insulation, air source heat pumps, solar PV panels and more.

Eligible households can receive up to £25,000 (depending on property characteristics) to install upgrades such as solid wall insulation, air source heat pumps, solar PV panels and much more. You can learn about these upgrades and the savings to your energy bill they will produce at Switched on Portsmouth.

The scheme is operating on a first come, first served basis and has limited funding, so be sure to apply today:

Emergency boiler replacements

Portsmouth City Council works in partnership with AgilityEco to provide emergency assistance to eligible residents through the LEAP Boiler Scheme. This includes the repair or replacement of broken or condemned boilers. This scheme is available during the winter months (October – March). A lack of heating over winter can have a severe impact on the health of those most affected by the cold.

To be eligible for a repair or a boiler replacement you must:

  • Own the property you live in.
  • Have a broken gas boiler that provides no heating.
  • Live within postcodes PO1 to PO13.
  • Claim a means tested benefits or have a total annual household income of less than £31,000

And there must be someone in the household who is:

  • Aged 65 or over,
  • Aged under 5, or
  • Suffering from significant health problems or has a disability that may be exacerbated by living in a cold home, such as:
    • Cancer or terminal illness
    • Cardiovascular condition
    • Respiratory condition
    • Disability (affecting mobility)
    • Mental Health Condition

There are 2 easy ways to apply:

  • Complete the online form. The form may take a few seconds to load depending on your internet connection.
  • If you’d prefer to speak with an energy advisor, please call the LEAP freephone number: 0800 060 7567 and one of the energy advisors will be happy to help.

As this is an emergency scheme, the installation should be completed within 10 working days after your survey takes place. Please be aware that we can’t provide a guaranteed timeframe for the initial appointment. This timeframe can vary between application volume and property location.

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

ECO is a government energy efficiency scheme to help tackle fuel poverty. Obligated energy suppliers must fund measures which improve the ability of fuel poor and vulnerable households to heat their homes.

In conjunction with LEAP you can check if you are eligible for funding for larger energy efficiency measures (such as loft and wall insulation) under the government’s ECO scheme.

To check your eligibility for ECO:

We are able to refer residents across Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to obligated energy suppliers so they can be offered help under the scheme. Our Statement of Intent, which includes eligibility criteria, can be found below.

Portsmouth City Council’s ECO Statement of Intent 2019

Portsmouth City Council’s ECO Statement of Intent 2018 (withdrawn 29 November 2019)

Portsmouth City Council’s ECO Statement of Intent 2017 (withdrawn 22 October 2018)

Portsmouth City Council’s ECO Statement of Intent 1st June 2017 (withdrawn 20 July 2017)

Energy switching

Portsmouth City Council has worked in partnership with Uswitch to create a free energy switching comparison site. This is to help you compare gas and electricity suppliers, so you can find and switch to the cheapest energy deal for you.

To see if you can save on your energy bills, visit the UK Power website or call 0800 138 9078.

You can also receive assistance with switching supplier as part of LEAP’s free home visit service.

Please be aware that switching energy suppliers (if you are on a standard variable tariff) at this present time will not necessarily result in energy savings as the energy price cap applies to all suppliers. For customers on a fixed tariff, switching suppliers might also not result in energy savings as the price cap does not cover this type of tariff, so suppliers can charge more.

Further information

For more information and advice from Portsmouth City Council on the help available to keep your energy bills low, your house warm and you and your family healthy, please e-mail or call 023 9243 7815.