The following details may help you get support with rising energy prices

National and local government are providing support to many vulnerable households in response to rising energy costs.  Support is already available for households in receipt of benefits, pensioners, vulnerable families and others.  The most up to date advice on what is available can be found at

Warm Banks

If you are struggling to heat your home this winter, please find a directory of local warm banks / spaces to find warmth, community and help.

Big Community Switch

During these difficult and challenging times it’s even more important to save money on your energy bill.

Kent Energy Deal had been in operation since collective switching began in the UK in 2013.  Kent Energy Deal was a partnership between several Kent Councils and IChoosr to help residents save money on their energy bills by using combined buying power to access highly competitive tariffs.  Kent Energy Deal helped many people living in the Dartford Borough and other partner Kent Local Authorities who also ran the scheme to switch to a better tariff therefore saving money on their resident’s utility bills and frequently the tariff offered was a renewable electricity tariff too.  The scheme was just one of the many offered to help residents and support the Council in its carbon reduction ambitions. 

Due to the Energy crisis and the Price Caps the switching market in its entirety has been at a standstill, however IChoosr have continued to monitor the situation and talked with suppliers to stay aware of any price/market changes.

IChoosr now believe the time is right to offer the option of the Big Community Switch again and are offering the opportunity for residents to register on line to help residents save money on their energy bills by using combined buying power to access highly competitive tariffs.  This means residents can benefit from the bargaining power of a large group.

Dartford Borough Council has formed a partnership with IChoosr to offer this service – participation is completely free with no obligation to switch. 

You can register today through the Big Community Switch's Dartford webpage.

Housing costs

If you are a Council tenant, a tenant in the private sector or you have a mortgage, it’s important that you talk to your landlord or lender at the earliest opportunity if you think you will have difficulty paying your rent or mortgage.

You may be entitled to the following to help you with your housing costs:

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments apply to both Council and private sector tenants. These can provide extra money to help with your housing costs on top of any benefit support you may already be receiving. To get a Discretionary Housing Payment, you will need to either already be receiving the old scheme Housing Benefit or the housing contribution element through Universal Credit. Access the Discretionary Housing Payment webpage for further details.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction may be available of your household is on a low income. You could receive support towards some or all of your Council Tax bill.

Household Bills

Help with your utility bills

Most utility companies offer help if you are struggling with your bills, including payment plans. Most water companies also offer discounts for households on low incomes. Please speak to your provider to find out more.

Find if you're eligible for support from Southern Water.

Visit Thames Water's financial support page.

Warm Home Scheme

The Government has announced the reopening of the Warm Home Discount scheme, which will provide a discount of £150 off electricity bills for three million low-income households this winter. Most households will receive the discount automatically. 

Broadband and phone

If you are looking for ways to cut back on your spending, you could be eligible for cheaper broadband deals with social tariffs. Social tariffs for broadband are discounted deals offered by various broadband providers to support households on low income or in financial hardship.

Free School Meals

If your child is in Year 2 or below, they can get free school meals. Please speak to your school for more details.

If your child is below 19 years of age and in full-time education, they may be eligible for free school meals. Please refer to for more details.

Visit our page for advice on managing income, debt and benefits.

See the list of Dartford's food banks.

Clear your energy debts

British Gas Energy Trust is accepting applications for individuals and families funding, regardless of their energy provider.

The Individuals and Families Fund is intended to tackle fuel poverty by clearing the energy debts of struggling households and respond to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Grants to cover arrears of up to £1,500 will be credited to the energy account of eligible households.

Applicants must:

  • Live in England, Scotland or Wales.
  • Not have received a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust within the last two years.
  • Be seeking a grant to clear an outstanding debt on a current or open gas, electricity or dual fuel energy account in their name or be a member of that household. The energy account must relate to a main residence.
  • Be facing fuel poverty.
  • Have received help from a money advice agency.

The fund is available to BG and Non-BG customers with debt on a credit energy account or those on a pre-payment meter. Please note that suppliers with their own support fund are excluded from this fund: Boost, Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power, Ovo, Octopus, SSE and Utilita.

The Fund is expected to close at the end of March 2024 (unless all the funding is allocated sooner).

Grants Available - British Gas Energy Trust

Money Advice Hub

Citizens Advice is supporting people in Kent who are struggling financially or need support to manage the rising cost of living through its new Money Advice Hub.

The service is completely free and confidential. People can access the service online by visiting (with video call and webchat functions) or by calling the freephone number on 0800 808 5622 by phone from Monday – Friday between 8am – 8pm.

Help with your TV Licence

The Simple Payment Plan has been created to help those in financial difficulty.

Qualifying customers can choose from either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan that spreads the cost of a TV Licence over 12 months, this means you make smaller payments more frequently, helping you to better manage your finances.

TV Licensing accepts referrals to the Simple Payment Plan from not-for-profit organisations such as charities or your local authority money advice department. It cannot accept referrals from commercial organisations.

If you would like to speak to someone about your finances, you can contact your local authority debt advice team or there are many not-for-profit organisations offering free, confidential and independent advice. Any not-for-profit organisation providing this service can refer you to us to join the Simple Payment Plan. More information on the simple payment plan and how to access it can be found here.

There are other TV licence concessions, which you might be eligible for depending on your circumstances. There are concessions available for: