Coping with the energy crisis and government support

It’s very important to keep warm enough at home to stay healthy during the winter months. This is especially important for older people, families with young children and people with a disability.

If you are struggling to meet your essential household bills or facing tough choices between heating your home or buying enough food to eat, talk to us. We can help with managing debt and provide benefit advice. We can also help you access other services that can support you if you are struggling financially.

You can contact us on 020 8534 5500, or email

Keeping warm and healthy

If you are planning on turning down the thermostat a little to help keep the bills down this winter, please don’t put your health at risk. Make sure you wear plenty of warm clothing and eat regularly, having at least one hot meal per day.

Don’t let your home get damp as this will make it feel even colder. If a home is too cold and there is no ventilation, condensation can build up. In good weather, consider opening windows during the day, and shutting
them and putting the heating on in the evening.

Using alternative heating

If you want to use a heater, electric radiators are the safest choice and are relatively energy efficient. Radiant bar heaters and gas heaters are a fire risk, especially if clothes or curtains fall on them, so we ask residents to be especially careful if using one of these. Do not cover any heater with clothing to dry, as this is a fire risk.

Make sure all your electrical goods carry the UKCA mark. Always buy electrical products from reputable retailers. Check the Government’s recall list if buying second hand Never use anything with a naked flame for heating inside your home. Even candles are a fire risk and can be especially dangerous if left in spaces shared with children or pets.

Government support for energy bills

The Government has put in place measures to support people paying home energy bills through two discount schemes:

  • Energy Bills Support Scheme discount – this applies to all households who have an account with an energy supplier and it will see each household receive £400 by way of monthly reductions to their electricity accounts. 
  • Energy Price Guarantee – this scheme limits the unit cost of the price of gas and electricity for households. This scheme is set to run until the end of March 2023.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

Under this scheme, residents who pay for their electricity directly to a supplier – eg EON, Scottish Power, or EDF will receive £400 support through the winter. You should have been contacted by your supplier to confirm how this will work for you. 

  • If you pay by direct debit, you should see a reduction to your monthly direct debit amount.
  • If you have a smart pre-payment meter, a credit should be applied directly to your meter on the first week of each month.
  • If you havea traditional pre-payment meter you should be sent a monthly redeemable voucher or get an automatic credit when you top up at your usual place.

If you are in any doubt, contact your supplier for further details.

Residents who pay Octavia for their electricity usage are not covered by this scheme. We are in discussions with suppliers to understand what, if any, support is available and how this will be applied. Once we have this information, we will be in contact with residents it applies to.

Energy Price Guarantee

This scheme limits the price of household gas and electricity, helping to keep the cost down. Residents who are served by heat networks or communal boilers are not covered by this scheme in relation to their gas supply. For these homes, the business which buys the gas from the supplier may be eligible for some price protection through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and, if so, they are required to pass this on to residents. At present, this scheme is set to last until March 2023.

For some of our homes, we purchase gas and charge residents for the cost. The way we purchase gas means we are protected and although costs may go up, they will be capped.

For certain homes we act as the billing agent but the freeholder, or managing agent, purchases the gas; for other homes, the energy supply and billing is managed completely by the freeholder or managing agent. We are contacting the agents of these schemes to find out if their gas prices will also be protected under the cap. The schemes are very new, and we are still waiting for fuller details – once we have them, we will provide residents with further updates.

More information about energy bill support

More information about Government help with energy bills and the cost of living can be found at:

Answering your questions

To support residents in this difficult time, Octavia has prepared some answers to frequently asked questions to help.