Published on November 3rd, 2013 | by Pete1
Are You Entitled To A New Boiler for Free?
Millions of Britons are facing a difficult winter as it has been revealed that energy bills are soaring again. SSE recently reported a price rise of 8.2% which means that gas and electricity bills will increase by more than £100. Campaigners have warned that the elderly will be hit the hardest and tens of thousands of pensioners will be forced to ‘eat or heat’.
But the energy giant is not the only supplier to slap hefty price hikes on the UK and there are fears for the nation that many will ration their heating this harsh cold wintertime.
Saskia Welman, the spokesperson of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, said: “Any increase in energy prices could come at a huge cost to pensioners. We are extremely worried that many poorer pensioners may have to make the decision to ‘eat or heat’, which would have catastrophic consequences.” However, did you know that you could be entitled to a free boiler? This means that you could get a more efficient appliance that would reduce your energy usage and therefore your energy bills. On average it costs £2,300 for a new boiler according to The Energy Saving Trust, so this could be a fantastic freebie. But note that it only includes fittings and any extra work that needs doing will cost you.
Do I qualify?
– You receive income-based benefits e.g. pension credit or income support and you have children, a disabled person in the house or are over 60-years-old OR
– You get tax credits and have a household income of £15,860 or less.
If you live in a housing association property or are a council tenant, you won’t qualify. Also, you need to have an inefficient/broken boiler to be eligible. If your boiler is A or B rated, you probably won’t qualify because it is too new.
The best way to find out if you could get a free boiler is to ring the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234. It is a national rate call and they are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm. They are also available on a Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
There are various utility providers that offer free assessments including SSE, British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower and Scottish Power and you don’t have to be a customer to get a free boiler.
How else can I get help?
Remember, if you need help paying your utility bills you could be entitled to Cold Weather Payments as well as Fuel Direct and Water Direct. These are different to Winter Fuel Payments which is a lump sum of money if you were born on or before 5th July 1950.
What’s more, all energy providers must provide social tariffs to vulnerable customers and that includes senior citizens. If all else fails, consider switching provider for a cheaper deal or alternatively, you could save money by changing your payment plan. Many providers offer cheaper rates if you pay via direct debit.
So what are you waiting for? Find out if you could be entitled to a free boiler and get the ball rolling ready for wintertime.
This article was provided by Cheselden, the UK’s leading independent authority on NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS funded Nursing Care. Our aim is raise public awareness of these funding packages, so that everyone who could qualify for funding has their care needs assessed and reviewed correctly.