Our city should be a place where everyone has the chance of a decent and secure life. Instead, too many people – many from working families – are struggling to meet their needs.
Financial hardship means not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy the essentials for your children. It means waking up every day facing insecurity, uncertainty and impossible decisions about money. It means facing marginalisation – and even discrimination – because of financial circumstances.
The constant stress it causes can overwhelm people, affecting them emotionally and depriving them of the chance to play a full part in society.
The strategy document in the downloads section contains a set of proposals we hope will inspire, encourage and support action across the city.
Please view below useful links, tips and pointers on where and how to find support across the city:
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 via the GOV.UK website. This form can be found by searching “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically” into the search bar on GOV.UK or an internet search engine. Applications are made directly to His Majesty’s Government, not to or via Local Authorities. 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, non-repayable support. The payment will be made directly into your bank account in a single instalment.
Further information can be found on GOV.UK.
As more households have been affected by the rising cost of living and energy prices, are you struggling to pay for broadband?
If you’re on benefits, you can access cheaper broadband packages starting at £12. For more information please visit, Cheaper broadband and phone packages - Ofcom or Discounted 'social tariffs' for those on certain benefits (moneysavingexpert.com).
The City of Wolverhampton is committed to ensuring all residents have access to devices and connectivity to benefit from digital by getting online to improve their life chances.
If you’re not already online as you don’t have a device or connectivity, Wolves Online is a device and connectivity lending scheme available to Wolverhampton residents to help you get online and stay connected. We work with a network of 50 trusted partners and can lend chrome books or tablets and connectivity through a MiFi and Sim card for 3 months. Our trusted partner network can help you get online and improve your digital skills. For more information please visit Get Online | Digital Wolves.
If you need help with an old, faulty or in-efficient boiler there are a few schemes that may help with a repair or replacement. If you rent your home from a private landlord or a council or housing association you should contact your landlord in the first instance. Although you may still qualify for the support below.
ECO – Energy Company Obligation
You might be able to get help for home improvements to make your home more energy-efficient, this could include:
- insulation for your loft or cavity walls
- upgrades to your heating such as replacing or repairing your boiler
If you claim certain benefits you could be eligible:
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Pension Savings Credit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Child Benefit
- Housing Benefit
Help can be given to home owners, private or social tenants. Your home will need to have an energy performance rating of E, F or G. Check the rating on your home.
If you rent your home then your landlord is responsible for obtaining an energy performance rating. If you own your home and you don’t have an energy performance certificate you will need to arrange one yourself
If you think you may qualify, the next step is to contact the supplier.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme
If you are a homeowner, you may qualify for a grant towards the cost of upgrading your heating system.
This would be to replace an existing fossil fuel like gas, electric or oil with a heat pump or biomass boiler. You could get up to £6,000 towards the cost depending on what you need.
If you are a landlord, you can apply for this for a home you rent out.
There a few exemptions if your home is a new or self build, for more details please visit Apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme: Check if you're eligible.
To apply you will need to go through a certified installer, they will assess your needs and confirm your eligible. They will also apply for the grant on your behalf. Find a certified installer.
If you are a homeowner and need a new boiler but do not have the finance to pay for this upfront and you do not qualify for any support schemes you may need to consider purchasing through a pay monthly scheme. You will need to make sure the provider is registered and trusted, most of the big energy companies offer this service.
This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information visit UK Shared Prosperity Fund: Prospectus.