Fuel, energy and utilities
Help with energy and water bills
Energy bills help and advice
- We have produced a booklet with up-to-date information on home energy efficiency improvement and renewable energy upgrades [PDF, 1MB]. The booklet also covers the types of funding that are available for Cambridgeshire residents.
- For simple advice on Energy bills and energy efficiency visit the gov.uk website or call 0800 444202.
- The Household Support Fund (HSF) has been created to help people who are experiencing immediate financial hardship. It helps them to pay for food and household energy bills.
- 'Which' has published 10 ways to reduce energy bills.
In collaboration with Cambridgeshire ACRE, with funding provided by the Integrated Care System (ICS), we have set up a series of community-led free-to-use Community Hubs. Whether you'd like to attend to save money by not having to put your heating on, or you'd just like to go for a free cup of tea or coffee and have a chat with other members of your community, anyone is welcome.
You can find out more on our Community Hubs page.
Energy supplier grants
Some of the bigger energy suppliers have their own funds to support households in energy arrears. Some of these funds are open to all, not just their customers. We would advise going through a local Citizens Advice Bureau for these Grants, as a financial statement prepared by a Debt Advisor is needed as evidence of seeking Debt Advice. Main examples include:
Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP)
LEAP is an advice service, offering energy tariff comparisons, installing simple energy saving measures (like LED lightbulbs and radiator reflector panels), and giving referrals to more complex energy saving measures. You can call LEAP free on 0800 060 7567.
Stay Well heating grants
Your local Stay Well this Winter programme is a network of partners who work across the local health and social care system to mitigate the risks associated with cold weather. They work to improve the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable groups who live in cold homes, due to fuel poverty.
If you are at risk of or living in fuel poverty, there are several ways in which your local Stay Well this Winter programme can help you access the services, information and potentially even financial support to keep warm and well this winter, whilst reducing your energy bills.
The Stay Well Heating Grants application process is open (previously titled Warm Homes). You will need to be referred by an organisation.
Boiler upgrade grant scheme
Through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you could get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler. Fossil fuel heating systems include oil, gas or electric.
You can get one grant per property. Grants are available for:
- £5,000 towards an air source heat pump
- £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump (including water source heat pumps and those on shared ground loops)
- £5,000 towards a biomass boiler
You cannot get a grant for a hybrid heat pump system (for example a combination of gas boiler and air source heat pump).
Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency
Our partners at the Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency can help you save money on energy bills. They can:
- Help reduce older and disabled residents’ fuel costs by fitting new, energy efficient boilers.
- Use Disabled Facility Grant funding to replace a boiler for a homeowner whose health is impacted by a lack of warmth. They may be eligible for a grant because their existing boiler doesn’t work (or doesn’t work as well as it should).
- Provide Special Purposes Grants, which are means-tested for people on low incomes. They can also pay for replacement doors and windows, roofing repairs, damp proofing or security improvements.
- For a small fee, they can support those not eligible for grants, but who struggle to organise the work themselves.
Better Housing Better Health
Better Housing Better Health is a charity working to improve domestic warmth and wellbeing. They can help with:
- Energy saving advice
- Home energy visits
- Grant funding towards energy saving measures
- Grant funding towards energy bills / debt
- Other interventions / referrals
Water bills help and advice
- Anglian Water’s Extra Care Support Team can help find you the cheapest tariff or a flexible payment plan. Visit Extra Care Support or call 0800 232 1951
- Cambridge Water have the Assure tariff which is a discounted tariff for those on a low income. They have other special tariffs, too.
- Use this water meter calculator to see if you would be saving money having a water meter installed.
National Databank Free Data
- Cambridgeshire Libraries have joined Good Things Foundation's National Databank which makes free data (via a SIM card or data voucher) available to anyone over the age of 18 from a low-income household. Recipients will self-declare as eligible, and the support is available for a maximum period of 12 months. The data can be used with any SIM-enabled device.
- The offer is currently available at Cambourne Library and Bar Hill Library
Help with phone bills
- You may be eligible to move onto a social tariff if you’re struggling to afford your broadband or phone services. Check the Ofcom website to see if you can switch.
- It's also worth checking whether you could be on a cheaper broadband deal. You can use comparison sites like Broadband Genie, Comparethemarket or Uswitch
- VOXI For Now is Unlimited 5G-ready data, minutes, and texts for £10 a month (usually £35 a month). To get 'VOXI For Now', you need to be receiving a government benefit, such as: Jobseeker’s allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability allowance and/or Personal independence Payment. If you are eligible, you will get the package for six months from the day that your VOXI For Now plan starts. Then, after 6 months, you will be switched over to the standard £10 a month plan (with access to Unlimited Social Media, as well as Unlimited calls, texts and flexibility to change, pause, or cancel at anytime.)
Help making your home warmer
We are dedicated to making South Cambs homes warmer. We have already been able to reduce energy consumption, improved efficiency, and reduced Carbon emissions in South Cambridgeshire. We have listed many useful tips on how to make your home energy efficient.
Why not borrow a thermal imaging camera to see where your home is leaking heat? Cambridge Carbon Footprint runs the scheme for us and provides free 1.5 hour online training sessions. (You must complete training before borrowing a camera).
Cold weather payment 2023/24
- You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re receiving: Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Support for Mortgage Interest. For more information visit the government cold weather payment page.
Age UK handyperson
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Handyperson Service is usually a charged-for service and the cost will vary dependent on the work being undertaken.
Exact handyperson services differ from place to place, but these are the sorts of jobs they can usually help with:
- Small repairs - putting up curtain rails, shelves and pictures
- Safety measures - fitting smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and grab rails
- Home security - door and window locks, door chains and door viewers
- Energy efficiency checks - installing draught excluders, radiator heat reflectors and energy efficient lightbulbs.