Cost of living support

Cost of living support

With the current Cost of Living and rate of inflation, it's important you know what help and support may be available to you.

As a Credit Union, we offer a number of hints and tips in our articles and member newsletters as well as a range of savings and loans.

What will happen to bills in April?

Read the article and learn what support will be available.

Claiming your £400 energy rebate

Recent news reports have been circulating suggesting that thousands of people are yet to claim their rebate as they are on meters. Here’s what the Government website says about claiming your £400 rebate:

If you have a smart prepayment meter

Your discount will be credited directly to your smart prepayment meter in the first week of each month.

If you have a traditional prepayment meter

You’ll get the discount from the first week of each month. You’ll get the discount automatically in one of the following ways:

  • redeemable vouchers, sent by SMS text, email or post
  • an automatic credit when you top up at your usual top-up point

Your electricity supplier will let you know in advance how you will get your discount.

Your supplier should have your contact details, but if you’re not sure or you don’t receive any information from them, you should check that they have your latest number and email.

If you get vouchers you’ll need to redeem them at a top-up point. Your supplier will tell you where to redeem them e.g. at a Post Office branch or a PayPoint shop. Payzone outlets are unable to accept the vouchers.

If you’re a direct debit customer

You’ll get the discount automatically in one of the following ways:

  • a reduction to your monthly direct debit amount
  • a refund to your bank account following the monthly direct debit collection
If you pay by standard credit or payment card

Your discount will be automatically applied as a credit to your account in the first week of each month. The credit will appear as it would if you had made a payment.

If you don’t use gas or electricity to heat your home

If you use alternative fuels such as biomass or heating oil, the government will give you a £200 payment to help with your energy bills. This is called the ‘Alternative Fuel Payment’.

Your electricity supplier will make the payment automatically in February 2023. If you don’t have a contract with an electricity supplier, you’ll be able to apply for the payment on GOV.UK from February.

Check if a heat pump could be suitable for your home

Find out if a heat pump could be a suitable choice of central heating system for your home before you install one.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Help from the Government

You can visit the Government website to find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel:…

You can also find the latest list of discounts and offers with the help for Households Scheme.


If you are struggling with your energy bills, you should contact your energy provider, who can help. They may also be able to let you know if you qualify for any grants to cover your energy bills. You can check the individual energy providers’ websites for more information:


One way to keep your food bill down is to shop at a cheaper supermarket such as Lidl or Aldi however, wherever you choose to shop, cooking lower-cost meals could help you keep within your budget. There are so many recipes and ideas out there but we like the budget recipes from BBC Good Food. CLICK HERE to check it out.

TOO GOOD TO GO – This anti-food waste app lets you rescue delicious, unsold food from businesses to save it from going to waste. In turn, the app powers our efforts to build an anti-food waste movement. CLICK HERE to find out more.

OLIO – OLIO is a mobile app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Money Helper

At First Defence Finance, we are committed to supporting our customers who experience money worries. Whilst we are doing all we can to help our customers, we recognise there may be other debts that you need help and advice with. If you are worried about debts or have missed payments, free and independent debt advice is available. The government-sponsored MoneyHelper can help you find support via:…

You can also use their FREE Budget Planner to help you manage your day-to-day costs:

Personal Inflation Calculator

This calculator from the Office of National Statistics estimates a personal inflation rate based on your household spending patterns. You will be asked how much your household spends on a range of categories including:

  • groceries
  • housing
  • transport
  • leisure

CLICK HERE to try it out.

Money Saving Expert

We know that sometimes it’s the small money-saving tips that can make the most difference. We have been following the Cost of Living updates on Money Saving Expert. You can read more here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.

Help with benefits

Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. You can use their free and confidential Benefits Calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim. Visit their website for more information: https://benefits-calculator.tu…

If you are unsure about Universal Credit or want to know more about it, you can find everything you need to know at: Understanding Universal Credit – Home

Mental Health Support

The current pressure on UK households to make ends meet is higher than most of us will have experienced before. Whilst getting your money in check is important, so too is your own mental health. There are a number of charities and organisations out there that offer help and support. You can of course book an appointment with your GP – your doctor is there to help you with your mental health as well as your physical health.

We have listed a few organisations here however if you or someone else is in danger, you should call 999 or go to A&E now.

Become a member and start saving today!

We put this in practice by providing you with fair rates of borrowing, flexible savings accounts to kickstart that habit and financial education as a means of giving you the tools to manage your finances more effectively.