Finding enough money each month to cover the cost of your bills can be difficult.

Whether you live in a flat, house, bungalow or maisonette we all have the same responsibilities to pay for any water, electricity or gas we use each month..

Luckily, there are ways to reduce some of your household bills.

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Water

Welsh Water has a scheme to reduce your annual water rate charges up to £250 per year.

HelpU supports households with an income below £15,000 each year (or less than £1,250 per month) to pay their water bill.

Find out more about this scheme and whether you’re eligible by visiting the HelpU website.

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Electricity

You could save money on your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

If you’re on a low income you could be eligible to get a one-off discount (worth £140) on your electricity bill between September and March.

You might be able to get discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with electricity and gas. You’ll need to double check with your supplier to find out.

To see if you can get the discount speak to your electricity supplier, they check to see if you’re eligible and can explain how to apply.

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The Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment to help you with your electricity and gas bills. Generally, any energy supplier who has more than 250,000 customers must offer the scheme. This includes the likes of British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, Npower, and SSE.

It’s worth remembering that every supplier has slightly different qualifying criteria and others might not be part of the scheme so it’s always worth ringing to double check.

Once you have a bank account set up you can organise a direct debit. It’s the best way to make sure the money reaches your landlord in time every month and it will also help you to keep track of your budget.

It’s really easy to set up a direct debit with your landlord and is a safe and simple way to make regular payments from your bank account.

Direct Debits can be set up over the phone or online. You’ll just need to make sure that you have the following information handy:

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of your bank or building society
  • Your bank or building society account number
  • The branch sort code of your bank or building society
  • The name(s) on the account

Setting up a direct debit will mean that you’re agreeing, with your landlord, the amount and date that the payment for your rent should be taken each month. After this time, you don’t need to worry about it anymore because it will continue to be deducted from your account until you cancel it. Even if at any time your landlord needs to change the amount or the collection date; they have to tell you first.

For more information about setting up a Direct Debit including a list of frequently asked questions visit: www.directdebit.co.uk

Here to help…

If you are a social housing tenant and are looking for some help you can find a list of contact information for a number of Housing Associations on our helpline and support page. It’s great if you have any questions about how Universal Credit will affect you and want to know more about the changes it brings.

You can also call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 9344. They’re open Monday to Friday from 8.00am until 6.00pm. Use this number to report any changes to your circumstances that you think might affect your claim.