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Essential Maintenance

Due to essential maintenance, our estore payment system will be unavailable at different times between 8am and 4pm on Sunday 14 April. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Information, advice and help with rent, bills and general household costs

Council tax reduction scheme

The government has announced further Cost of Living Payments between spring 2023 and spring 2024.

If you’re entitled, you will get:

  • £300 paid during autumn 2023 for most people
  • £299 paid during spring 2024 for most people

If you’re getting both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, you will receive a Cost of Living Payment for Child Tax Credit only, which will be paid by HMRC.

If you’re getting tax credits from HMRC and a low income benefit from DWP, you cannot get a Cost of Living Payment from both HMRC and DWP. You will usually be paid by DWP only.

To find out more visit the GOV.UK cost of living payment webpage

Disability Cost of Living Payment

You may be entitled to a Disability Cost of Living Payment of £150 if you get any of the following benefits on a certain date:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance for adults
  • Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Most people will be paid the £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment during summer 2023.

To find out more visit the GOV.UK cost of living payment webpage

Household Support Fund

We’ve been given government funding as part of the Household Support Fund. Find out how it could help you here:

Struggling to pay rent

Discretionary Housing Payment

Discretionary Housing Payments are extra payments to help you pay your rent. We give these payments to people claiming benefits that need help with their housing costs.

You can apply for a payment if you are currently entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. How much you could receive depends on your circumstances. We review each each application but cannot guarantee we will give you a payment.

Rent Income Support

Are you a council tenant and having trouble paying your rent or concerns for future payments? Call 0300 555 0010 between 9 and 5 for advice and support, including council tax payments.

Private Rented Accommodation

If you are a private tenant, we can provide advice for issues like repairs, or if you've received a notice to leave the tenancy. 

Welfare Rights

We can look at any benefits you are on and check to see if there any others you should be getting.

  • For benefit advice, call 01384 815002 open Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.30pm

Struggling with energy bills

Dudley Energy Advice Line (DEAL) support to people in relation to all things energy. We offer:
  • support in a crisis if you can't afford your energy costs
  • help if your heating breaks down
  • support with fuel debts, grants and payment plans
  • help with energy bill support, discounts and grants
  • advice around understanding costs and tariffs
  • help with reducing energy use, waste and carbon emissions
The service also offers energy saving advice and tips that we all need to follow whilst energy is so costly.

Prepayment meters for gas and electricity

Citizens Advice offer guidance if you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter.

Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton are also operating support hubs across Dudley.

Energy Bill Support Scheme - Alternative Funding

Alternative funding is available for households who were not eligible for the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS). This provided a £400 reduction on electricity and gas bills.

This alternative funding supports those who live in households without a domestic electricity meter or do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier.

You may be eligible to apply if your main home is:

  • A residential park home.
  • On a boat on a permanent residential mooring.
  • On a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site.
  • Part of a heat network without an electricity meter.
  • In social or private rented accommodation which has a business energy connection or a communal electricity supply.
  • Off the mains electricity or gas grid.
  • In a care home or assisted living facility and you pay for some or all of your care (directly or through loss of pension or other benefits).
  • In a separate domestic home within a non-domestic property (such as a farmhouse or a flat above a shop).

You do not need to apply if you or your landlord:

  • Have a domestic energy meter.
  • Pay bills directly to an energy supplier (such as British Gas or EDF).
  • Have already received payments from the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

To find out more search 'Apply for energy bill support' into the search bar on GOV.​UK or an internet search engine, or contact the GOV.UK helpline team.

Alternative Fuels Payment

The Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) scheme launched on 6 February. It provides support for households across Great Britain who don’t use mains gas. Those who are eligible will receive £200 towards their energy bills.

Most people will get this £200 payment automatically. It will appear as credit on your electricity bill.

However some customers will need to apply for support later this month. The application process will open later in March.

Please note: any direct request for your bank details from any individual or organisation is very likely a scam. These should not be responded to.

  • To find out more search 'Alternative fuels payment' into the search bar on GOV.​UK or an internet search engine, or contact the GOV.UK helpline team.

Live4Less

Live4Less is a free course offered by Adult Learning. It looks at:

  • budgeting
  • how to be energy efficient
  • reduce your travel costs
  • make simple and cost-effective meals

The course is 2 hours long and held across the borough in various venues. For more information, or to book a free place, call Adult Community Learning on 01384 818143 or email acl@dudley.gov.uk

Stay Fire Safe

The West Midlands Fire Service have put together a page full of top tips. These can help you stay fire safe while you're trying to reduce the cost of heating or lighting your home.

Struggling with water bills

Severn Trent Trust Fund

If you are unable to meet the cost of water charges and live in the Severn Trent area you can apply for help. You may qualify for a reduction of between 10 to 90% of your bill.

Severn Trent Water - The Big Difference Scheme

The Big Difference Scheme can offer a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £16,480.

South Staffordshire Water - Assure Tariff

The Assure Tariff can help customers who are on a low income or struggling to pay their water charges. It aims to reduce water poverty and make bills more affordable. If your household income is less than £19,050 per year, you may qualify.

South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust

The South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust is a registered and independent charity. It helps customers who are facing difficulties or distress pay their bills. If you are having problems paying your bill, please read through their website and see whether the Trust may be able to help you.

Save water, Save money

When it’s cold and wet, saving water may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, by joining Get Water Fit and taking a quiz, you can get a personalised plan of easy wins and order water-saving gadgets. One of the newest features is live video chat, so you can get advice and support, when you need it.

Home Broadband, Telephone and Technology

Social tariffs: cheaper broadband and phone packages

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. These offers are sometimes called 'essential' or 'basic' broadband by the providers. They're delivered in the same way as regular packages, just at a lower price.

Black Country Connected

Black Country Connected is a programme to loan residents in the Black Country a Geobook Laptop with an option to receive connectivity to enable them to access information such as health and social care, well-being sites, general information sites, educational/college sites, social media and online shopping. Users can also connect with people/organisations via email, video call and apps.

Mobile Phone SIMs

Dudley Libraries

Dudley Libraries are offering people the chance to get a free SIM card. They are being offered at all library branches across the borough.

You can qualify if you are on a low income and are over 18 years old.

The mobile phone operators available via this offer are Vodaphone, O2 and Three.

  • Vodaphone SIM - 40gb data + free calls and text. Lasts for 6 months. Refreshes automatically for another 6 months.
  • O2 SIM Voucher - 20gb data + free calls and text. (This is issued via a voucher by library staff)
  • Three SIM - 24gb data only.

To find out more, visit your local library or go to National Databank website.

Or contact Dudley Libraries Partnership Manager Stephanie Rhoden

Dudley Adult and Community Learning

Dudley residents who enrol on a course with Adult and Community Learning may qualify for a free SIM.

The SIM can be used to get free mobile data. With this you can access the internet, emails and other online services as well as texts and phone calls.

(This offer is provided by the National Databank and the Good Things Foundation)

Work on your house

Boilers and keeping warm

We may be able to help you manage your bills or even provide some funding.

Private rented tenants

If you are a private tenant, we can provide help and advice if you have issues with your tenancy. For example, if you've received a notice to leave the tenancy. If your private rented home does not meet health and safety standards, we can support you in talking to your landlord.

Traders

We maintain a list of reputable traders called "Fix-a-home" covering building, electrical, plumbing amongst other services.

Home Upgrade Grant (HUG)

The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) is a government funded grant scheme for owner occupiers in England that provides energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating to low-income households living in homes that do not have a mains gas heating system.

Citizens Advice & Dudley Empowerment Partnership: Cost of Living advice and resources

Cost of Living advice and resources from Citizens Advice and Dudley Empowerment Partnership.