Cost of Living

Monday, May 30, 2022

Since the rise of energy prices in October 2021, prices have been increasing and look set to increase further. This is said to be due to a combination of Russia's invasion on Ukraine, climate change, Brexit trade deals and lockdown.

The consequences are of course what we are all feeling at the moment - and low income families are the hardest hit.

There may be also a further price rise of gas and electric again in October 2022, leaving people already fearing for winter. Clients are already telling us they will only heat one room or start to buy thermal clothing, ready for the cooler temperatures.


However, there has been some further announcements, with more clarity yet to come:

  • £650 one-off payment for families on means-tested benefits

  • £300 to pensioners

  • £150 to those on disability benefits

  • extra £200 for all energy bill payers that will not have to be repaid (in addition to the £200 previously announced)

The £200 x2 to all families was originally going to be repaid over 5 years but this has now appeared to change, and it won't be repayable.

  • Warm Home Discount, £140 grant for your electric, is also set to increase to £150 with a broader scope of eligibility. This is typically available in September so start to check with your supplier in August, as this grant is first-come first-serve. 

  • £150 rebate from council tax. Most should have already received this by now, with those who don't pay by direct debit waiting for their Post Office voucher in the post. You will get this regardless of any benefits and council tax debts, only that your property is within council tax bands A-D.  Wyre Forest District Council is sending out the last few rebates which may be concluded by the end of June.

As mentioned above, there's still yet further instructions to be released but rest assured we keep up with the changing events! So any Adviceline call will advise you as fully as they can.


The above measures will hopefully ease some pressure but we recommend keeping an eye on your budget and cutting costs where possible. Such as:

  • Down-brand grocery shopping

  • Comparing and switching services (broadband, contents insurance, mobile deals - can get good value SIM only ones.  Note that energy comparisons are not quite applicable at the moment, but it's still worth checking your tariff, as e.g. standard variable tends to be cheaper than fixed at the moment).

  • If you're repaying debts, check if the company can help in any way - reducing your payments or freezing interest for example

  • Turning off anything on standby

  • If you live alone, ensure you claim 25% single person council tax discount and consider a water meter, so you only pay for what you use

  • Car-sharing, cycling or using public transport to save on petrol

  • Go through your bank statement - any direct debits/memberships you can cancel? (check their T&Cs first) Are you spending more than you thought on games or online shopping? Create a budget to control spending

  • Buy second-hand online which tends to be cheaper - for example: Freecycle, Gumtree, Facebook marketplace, Vinted etc

  • Save what you can if possible. Anything you save will help out your future self! e.g. with an unexpected bill, higher prices or even a treat, however small - your health is important too


The national website has useful links for further reading:

If you're struggling with living costs (EWS)

Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills (EW)

Check if you can increase your income (EWS)


For telephone advice give us a call on 0808 278 7891 - be warned there may be a wait and our can lines get busy, usually in the morning. Have a read through the public advice site if you're waiting:

You can also contact us via webchat: