You may already be aware of the UK Government’s various efforts to offset the rising cost of living with programmes such as the Energy Bills Support Scheme, the Warm Home Discount Scheme, and the Household Support Fund. But, depending on your circumstances, there are other grant and rebate schemes available that you may be able to access. Here we list some of them, and you can always get more information and advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau (citizensadvice.org.uk).
Help with Home Improvements
This will vary depending on your local authority, but you may get a grant or loan to help with adapting, improving, or repairing your home. It could be by providing labour, tools, or cheap materials to help you carry out the work, or providing details of relevant builders, free or low-cost surveys, or advice on carrying out repairs.
ECO – Insulation and Boiler Grants
The Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme can help with the cost of replacing an old or broken boiler or with loft and cavity wall insulation. It’s only available to people who get certain benefits and have an income of £16,190 or less*. Energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers are required to offer energy efficient home improvements under the ECO scheme. However, the amount of help they provide depends on their market share, so smaller suppliers will generally have very limited availability.
Flexible Support Fund
If you’re on Universal Credit and looking for work you can ask at your local Job Centre Plus about their Flexible Support Fund. You could get help with your job search costs such as transport, childcare, work clothes, tools and more if an adviser believes it’ll make the transition into work easier. Ask your local office if it provides any help.
Armed Forces Veterans & Families
The Royal British Legion has launched a grant scheme for veterans and their families who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The initiative will provide non-repayable emergency grants of up to £1,200 (£200 a month for up to six months). More information is available at britishlegion.org.uk.
If you’re on a low income and struggling with the cost of school uniform, you could get up to £200 to help in the form of a non-repayable grant. The qualifying criteria varies around the UK but the minimum requirement to get the grant is that you qualify for (but not necessarily get) free school meals. Many schools offer support to families who need financial assistance with uniforms, for example by giving you vouchers towards the cost. It’s also worth checking if your school has any second-hand uniform sales – this can be a good way to pick up lower-priced uniform at a fraction of the retail cost.
*Correct as of December 2022
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
About the Author: Helen Say is a freelance copywriter and blogger www.cblservices.co.uk