Keeping Your Power On In Hard Times
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
You may not know it but if you fall into the category of the vulnerable or if you fall on tough times, then most of the British energy suppliers should keep your power on as they are signed up to Energy UK Safety Net. Finding out about whether you fall into the group classed as vulnerable is done on an individual case assessment but the general guidelines given are age, disability, health, financial instability and are unable to protect their own or other members of the households personal welfare.
Vulnerability has general guidelines which include a household that cares for an elderly or frail person. If you have children in the house who are young then no disconnections should be allowed from the beginning of October to the end of March. This changes where there are children in the house that are younger than 5, when disconnection should not be done at all, as long as an arrangement has been made for a payment schedule.
If a member of your household is disabled or chronically ill and cannot support themselves, or has been declared at risk by a social worker, doctor, health visitor or carer then disconnection should not be carried out. This also applies to persons reliant on chair lifts, wheelchairs, dialysis or defibrillator and oxygen equipment.
Pensioners born before January 5th 1952 are able to claim between £100 and £300 under the Winter Fuel Payment scheme to help meet energy bills, and there is also the Warm Home Discount for the poorest of pensioners with an average saving of £ 135. For those who receive income support or pension credit then you may qualify for Cold Weather Payment which pays £25 for each cold week between the beginning of November and the end of March if temperatures remain sub-zero for 7 days without a break.
ECO is also available to fund energy installation upgrades that make your home more cost effective and reduce your energy usage, and is also there to support those that are living below the fuel poverty line. If you do fall into one of the above categories then you need to inform your energy supplier so that note can be made of the fact that your household and the members therein fall into the category of the vulnerable, so that power disconnections can be avoided.
Head Office: EATON HOUSE, STATION ROAD, LEEDS, LS20 8XB Company Registration: 4704157 Vat Registration: 817013852