As a result of the Cost of Living crisis, the Government has announced circumstance-based financial support for households which includes:

  • a Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying low income benefit or tax credits
  • a Disability Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying disability benefit
  • a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, if you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023

All the detail of these are available on the Government website and are in addition to the Energy Bills Support Scheme which will see all households receive financial support.

Food and fuel vouchers - Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund is provided by the Government to local authorities to support families with children and individuals most in need. It replaced the Covid Local Grant Scheme (CLGS) and is administered by Leicestershire County Council.

Support available includes food and gas and electric vouchers and you can find details of eligibility criteria on the county council website.

Direct applications are not being accepted and a referral must be made on your behalf by a professional support worker or agency. Oadby & Wigston Borough Council can act as this agency and we are ready to support local people. If you believe you are eligible and would like to discuss a referral and are a Council Tenant, please ask for your Income Officer on 0116 2888961. All others in Oadby & Wigston should contact our benefits team on 0116 2888961 (option 4).

The energy bills support scheme alternative funding (EBSS AF)

The energy bills support scheme alternative funding (EBSS AF) is providing support of £400 for energy bills for households in England, Scotland, and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier.

This support is provided by His Majesty’s Government and is delivered by local authorities. The scheme is now open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.


Subject to applications meeting the eligibility criteria, people who will be able to receive support under EBSS AF include:

  • Care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (wholly or partly self-funded)
  • Park home residents, houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
  • Social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
  • Homes on a heat network/private wire
  • Off-grid homes
  • Farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes

How to apply

If you are eligible for EBSS AF, you will need to fill out a short online form on the Government's website.

Applications are made directly to His Majesty’s Government, not to or via Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, your local authority. If you do not have online access, you can apply via a contact centre on 08081753287 where a representative will guide you through the application process.

Once you have applied, your application will be processed and verified. After this, if your application is successful, your details will be shared with local authorities, who will deliver the one-off, nonrepayable support. The payment will be made directly into your bank account in a single instalment.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK website (GOV.UK).

Support with your water bills

Severn Trent's Big Difference Scheme can offer a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £20,048.08. Please visit Severn Trent's website for more information and details of how to apply. Other support schemes are also available on their website, including a Financial Hardship Fund.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly and you may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

Check your eligibility and apply through the Government website.

Financial support for my energy bills

The Citizen's Advice website is a great place to start if you would like to review all the financial support services potentially available to you. Here is a snapshot of the key schemes:

Warm Homes Discount

If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2022 to 2023 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This a national scheme and you need to visit the Government's webpage for details.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. If eligible you should receive your payment automatically but if you wish to review the criteria or make a claim, visit the Government's specialised webpage.

Cold Weather Payment

You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest. If eligible, you’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days. Visit the Government's webpage for more information.

Speak to our Financial Inclusion Officer

Oadby & Wigston Borough Council has a Financial Inclusion Officer whose role is to support financially vulnerable customers, help them claim any benefits they may be entitled to and identify any other support they may need.

In some cases support will be available from the borough council, but the inclusion officer is also able to make referrals on behalf of customers needing help from other organisations.

External partners our inclusion officer works closely with include; Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), DWP job centre, HMRC Tax Credits, DWP PIPs, DWP Disability Living Allowance department, budgeting and debt advisory services, Helping Hands, Citizen's Advice, Food Banks, Utilities companies, Charity Link, First Contact.

The officer is also able to help the customer review debts and will work in their best interests to look at how the repayment of debt can be manageable and effective.

If you wish to access the Financial Inclusion Service, please complete our short contact form.

Advice and support on your energy bills

  • Energy Saving Trust - offers free, impartial advice to communities and households on how to reduce carbon emissions, use water more sustainably and save money on energy bills. They can also give up-to-date information on grants available to help fund certain energy-saving measures in your home. Tel: 0300 123 1234 Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 8 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm.
  • Centre for Sustainable Energy - has advice and energy saving tips on their website. This includes a vast range of information leaflets on domestic energy use; including topics such as wall insulation (solid and cavity), central heating controls, energy monitors, damp, solar panels and the Green Deal.
  • Age UK Oadby & Wigston - Age UK are able to give general advice and put people in touch with local services. Tel: 0116 2885203
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) - The Citizens Advice Bureau provide advice on budgeting, debt and benefit issues. South Wigston Office Tel: 0844 417 1025 or 0300 330 1025 from mobiles. The Advice Guide, from the Citizens Advice Bureau, provides online advice on energy supply. It includes areas such as saving money on your energy bills, switching energy supplier and understanding your energy bills.
  • Carbon Footprint Calculator - The Carbon Footprint calculator allows you to calculate how much CO2 you're producing in your everyday life, allowing you to recognise where energy can be saved to reduce your carbon footprint.

Last updated: Thursday, 25 May 2023 10:19 am