Low income households can get help and financial assistance from different Southern Electric programmes. The company provides information on government schemes such as Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payments, and they offer other assistance, such as payment arrangements. The main programmes from Southern Electric for vulnerable households are below.
Discounts on electricity bills are offered as part of the Warm Home Discount scheme. Applications are processed during the summer months (usually June), and depending on government funding, qualified households may receive discounts of as much as £150 on their account.
There may also be discounts provided to households that sign up for paperless billing or that pay using a monthly Direct Debit. Southern Electric will also provide energy saving tips and efficiency advice, all of which will help people save money.
Cold Weather Payments are offered when the weather starts to turn very cold. These payments will be made directly by the government to vulnerable households that are receiving qualifying benefits. The payments are usually made when the temperature is below 0°C or below for seven days in a row.
The benefits that need to be received in order to qualify include income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit, or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Also, Cold Weather Payments may be for Southern Electric customers that get income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Support and have a child who is disabled, a disability or pensioner premium, a child under 5 living with you, or a child tax credit.
Those with income-related ESA may also get help from the government Cold Weather Payments. They will get it if they have a pensioner premium, enhanced disability premium, a child under the age of 5, disability, or if they get a Universal Credit.
Also, Southern Electric customers in the UK may get Cold Weather Payments if they get Universal Credit, are self-employed or not employed and one of the following apply. If they get a limited capability for work element or have a disabled or young child.
Another programme is the Winter Fuel Payment. This is for older people and the amount of the payment depends on various circumstances, but it can range from £100 – £300 per year, and it is tax-free. This will help pay heating bills between November and December.
The payments are usually made for those households on a State Pension or another social security benefit. The funds paid out by the government will change every year.
If you are struggling, there may also be payment arrangements set up to help with electricity and heating bills. Southern Electric will offer advice and assistance to fit the household circumstances. If you are having trouble now, or expect to in the future, call the company. Arrangement will take into consideration the household ability to pay their bills. They have people who can help with your bill and energy debts.
Careline is for disabled or elderly customers. It provides households with textphones, equipment and other schemes. There are also services for customers with a special medical need.
For households that rely on electricity for medical equipment, Southern Electric and local network operators will be made aware of your need for power. They will try to prevent your supply for being turned off and turn the power back on as soon as possible if it does go off. The Priority Services Register list and Careline is for people on artificial ventilator, Home dialysis machine, Adjustable bed, or an Oxygen concentrator.
Members that use Careline can get free information on where to buy specialist adaptors or devices. Some examples of the devices include Power point raiser, Control handles, Touch-sensitive controls, Bump-ons, and many others.
Keeping warm during cold weather is important. A focus is on the disabled, chronically sick, children, and elderly. There are many free tips on energy usage given as well as supplies that can be used to keep the cost of your heating bill down.
Having an energy efficient home is a great way for Southern Electric customers to stay cool during the summer and warm during the winter months. Some of the main tips or improvements include the following.
- Adding extra loft or cavity insulation to your home.
- Green Deal is one programme that can help. It will allow households to install low cost energy saving measures in your home. These improvements can help keep low income households. Also, the Energy Company Obligation may allow energy saving measures to be done for free for a low income households or pensioners.
- Stop cold air from coming in by using draught excluders, fitting keyhole covers, or installing.
- Southern Electric even recommends installing double or so called secondary glazing to stop heat from escaping through the home and windows. Or just use thermal lining or heavy curtains.
- The company will also review your bill for free. They will ensure you are on the best tariff for your energy needs.
Various other assistance programmes and may be offered. The company works with low income households to find a solution. Call Southern Electric at 0800 072 8560.