Cost-of-living crisis support
Find out what we can do to help you manage your money and get some practical tips to save money and energy.
Managing your money
Whatever your financial situation, our Money Matters Team will work with you to give you all the support and advice you need. This includes help:
- applying for benefits you are entitled
- budgeting your money
- dealing with your debts and arrange repayment plans
- reducing your energy costs, energy bills and recovering from fuel debt
There is also information about cost of living support on GOV.UK.
Cost of Living Payments in 2023 to 2024
The government announced there will be more payments between spring 2023 and spring 2024.
People who get an eligible low income benefit will get up to £900. This will be divided into 3 payments of:
- £301 in spring 2023
- £300 in autumn 2023
- £299 in spring 2024
There will also be a:
- £150 payment in summer 2023 for people who get an eligible disability benefit
- £300 payment in winter 2023 to 2024 for people who are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment
Warm spaces are free to use and are warm, safe and welcoming places across Sunderland everyone can use to stay warm.
Some spaces also offer hot drinks and activities and provide other services like information and advice.
Practical tips to save money and energy
Lower your thermostat
Changing your thermostat by 1°C from 25°C to 24°C could save households across the UK £800 million.
In bedrooms, setting the thermostat even lower and adding an electric blanket can also save money and energy.
Change your lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs can save you money.
For every 100 watt incandescent lightbulb you swap, you will save about £13 a year, based on the April 2022 energy price cap. Source: Energy Saving Trust.
Turn off lights
In an average 4-person household, turning lights off in rooms you are not using can save £20. Source: Energy Saving Trust.
Turn off appliances and devices
Leaving appliances and devices in standby can cost about £55 a year. Source: Energy Saving Trust.
Appliances like a fridge-freezer have to switched on all the time. But, wherever possible switch off and unplug appliances and devices. Devices like smart speakers draw energy when you are not using them, but they are still plugged in. This could cost the average UK household about £140 a year.
Filling and boiling the kettle
Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need. This will cost less to heat and save water too.
Avoid boiling the kettle too often. 23% of people re-boil the kettle and this could cost you about £36 a year. Source: Energy Saving Trust.
Washing and drying clothes
Only use your washing machine when it is full. This will cost less because you are using it less and save energy.
Tumble dryers use a huge amount of energy. If you use a tumble dryer twice a week, it can cost you £300 or more a year. Cheaper ways to dry your clothes include:
- outside on a washing line
- using a heated clothes airer, which usually cost about 6 pence an hour
Cover your pans when you are cooking. This will help your food cook more quickly and cost less and save energy.
Turn off the heat on your hob and oven 1 or 2 minutes before your food is cooked. Your food will use the residual heat to keep cooking, and this will cost less and save energy.
Heating your home
To help use your heating less and save money on costs:
- use draught excluders on windows and doors without blocking any vents
- use thermal-lined curtains
- close your curtains and tuck them behind your radiators where possible to keep as much heat in your home as possible
Placing things over or next to radiators blocks airflow and causes your boiler to run for longer. Keeping radiators clear, including moving furniture as far away as possible, increases the flow of warmer air from the radiators around the room.
Other practical tips
MoneySavingExpert has some energy saving tips that will help you use less energy and save money. They include:
- simple changes to your boiler and heating system, like turning your thermostat down by 1°C and lowering the flow temperature of your boiler
- knowing how much energy appliances use and how much the cost you
- changing how you use appliances like washing machines, kettles, tumble dryers, dishwashers and air fryers
- simple tips like keeping doors closed, defrosting your freezer and putting a lid on your saucepans when you are cooking