The Solihull Household Support Fund

Help is available to support your energy needs – bills, debt and heating.

April 2023 – March 2024

 

The SOLIHULL HSF scheme closed on 31stMarch 2024.

All applications received up to and on this date will be processed, subject to receipt of the correct supporting evidence as shown below.

 

The scheme is administered and managed by Act on Energy on behalf of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. This funding is made available through the Department of Work and Pensions to support people through the cost of living crisis.

 

 

For those who have previously received funding from the Solihull Energy Household Support Fund before 31st March 2023, you can now re-apply for funding – subject to the conditions set out below. We will let you know if your application has been successful as soon as we can – but this may take a few weeks.

If you received help after April 2023, you may not receive anything. Priority will be given to households that have made no previous application.

 

CRITERIA

Who can apply?

All homeowners, private rented tenants, and housing association/Council tenants can apply for energy vouchers or energy payments and help with paying off energy debt (not a debit) if they:

  1. Live in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull
  2. Have a combined gross household income of no more than £31,000.00 per year
  3. Have no household savings (Pensioners can have up to £5000 in savings per pensioner)
  4. Have someone living in the home with a vulnerability (see below)

If your household satisfies all of the 4 criteria above, you can apply for support through the Solihull Energy Household Support Fund.

You will need to provide us with evidence of your vulnerability to support your application and send it to solihullhsf@actonenergy.org.uk This could be a photo of medication showing name and address or a vulnerability benefit letter. Without this, we are unable to make a payment to you.

 

What support is available?

Subject to funding and eligibility criteria, this fund could offer qualifying residents:

  1. Financial support in the form of energy vouchers and energy payment for gas and electricity, and to top up an oil or LPG tank (not bottles) or solid fuel.
  2. Financial support toward current energy debts only

You can also get more information on our website – check out these pages for ideas on energy saving measures Resource Archive – Act On Energy

 

What do we mean by vulnerability?

  • Long term diagnosed and treated health conditions (physical or mental) e.g., COPD
  • Households with unmanageable debts (i.e. debt has been passed to a debt collection agency, or you have a debt management plan in place) 
  • Disabled and in receipt of DLA or PIP
  • In receipt of Carers Allowance
  • In receipt of Housing Benefit only (not as part of Universal Credit)
  • In receipt of Council Tax Support (not single person discount)
  • In receipt of Employment Support Allowance
  • In receipt of Limited capability for work related activities allowance
  • In receipt of benefits related free school meals not universal free school meals
  • Other vulnerabilities disclosed by household’s not on the list but accepted at AOE’s discretion

 

SUPPORT EXPLAINED

1. Financial support with energy vouchers and energy payment

If you are applying for energy vouchers or energy payment you will need to provide details of your gas or electric supplier or oil, LPG or solid fuel supplier on the online application including your energy supplier’s name and your account number.

Please make sure your energy account details are accurate. If they aren’t we cannot make a payment.

ENERGY VOUCHERS – If you use a key or a card to top-up your Pre-Payment meter you will be issued with 3 x £49 totalling £147 PayPoint or Post Office Vouchers. This is a one-off provision of vouchers.

ENERGY PAYMENT – A one-off payment of £147 onto your gas or electricity account or supplier, (select 1 energy type only when completing the application form), for:

  • those paying by direct debit or
  • on receipt of bill or
  • direct to your supplier for LPG (not bottled), oil (where you have a customer account with a supplier NOT an online broker/buying club (e.g. Boiler Juice) or solid fuel

 

2. Financial support towards Energy Debts – subject to funding

This is open for Electricity and Gas debts only.

The applicant needs to:

  1. Complete the self certification online form (available below). Act on Energy will then post a separate paper application form for Energy Debt Relief
  2. Provide evidence to Act on Energy supporting their application (the evidence required will be explained in the paper application form).

Agree & accept that at the discretion of the Household Support Fund Team it is a condition of assistance that you are referred to a debt advice service such as StepChange to assist you with budgeting and debt management.

 

HOW TO APPLY

All applications where possible need to be made online. If you are unable to apply online call us on 0800 988 2881. You can apply online by completing the application form link at the bottom of this page.

Before applying please note:

  1. There is no guarantee of support.
  2. This is not an emergency scheme payments may take up to 20 working days after submitting your evidence.

If you were successful in receiving support through the previous Solihull Energy Household Support Fund, you can apply again. However, you may not be able to receive the same type of help through this scheme if you have received support within the last 12 months. For example, if you received financial support e.g. towards repaying an energy debt, you will not be able to receive that support again but you could apply for help with a current cost payment.

 

OTHER SUPPORT

If you get benefits and have a pre-pay or smart meter that you can use fuel vouchers with, National Energy Action (NEA) also offers fuel vouchers for vulnerable households. To learn more about all the requirements, call NEA on 0800 304 7159.

For further information on the support available in relation to food, fuel and financial advice within the Solihull area please visit Here2Help (solihull.gov.uk).

 

REFERRALS

We accept referrals from both Professional Referrers and friends or family members.
The process to refer is the same as applying (see below).

To register your interest in Solihull Household Support Scheme, please complete and submit the ‘Online Self Certification Application/ Expression of Interest form’ available by clicking the button below before 5 p.m. on 31st March 2024.

 

This scheme is now closed.

 

 

TERMS OF THE SCHEME

If you are applying for Energy Payment support you will need to provide details of your energy supplier, oil or LPG supplier on the online application including their name and your energy account number. There is no cash alternative.

If you are applying for Pre-payment meter Fuel Vouchers you will be issued with 3 x £49 Paypoint or Post Office Vouchers.

Please note that if you are applying for assistance with Fuel Debt you will be emailed or posted a separate application form that you will need to complete and return with evidence before your application can be considered.

 

How long will it be before I receive help?

The Household Support Fund is not an emergency service. Applicants applying for Energy Debt Relief will be required to complete an application form and return it with all required evidence.

Energy Vouchers and Energy Payments may take up to 20 working days for payments to reach energy accounts, we aim to issue energy vouchers within 20 working days from receipt of your evidence.

Energy Debt Payments will hopefully be made 20 working days after the application form and required evidence has been received.

Please do not call and chase payments within this time period as this will not make the process any quicker, you will be advised by email when a payment has been made.

 

TOLERANCE

We understand that people may feel frustrated during the application process but if those feelings escalate into verbal abuse and aggression towards our staff, we consider that to be unacceptable and will not be tolerated and your application may be withdrawn. Please respect our staff – they are here to help and will be doing everything they can to bring your case to a satisfactory conclusion. Please note that funding is discretionary and could be withdrawn if deemed necessary. All applications are processed on a first come first served basis.

 

For any further enquiries, please email solihullhsf@actonenergy.org.uk or call our free advice line on 0800 988 2881.

 

 

This webpage has been last updated: 31.03.2024, 17:25 (GMT+1)