Cost of living support

The rising cost of living is affecting us all. If you’re finding it hard to manage your money, and maybe even your mental health, don’t struggle in silence – help is out there.

Take a look at what help is available below.

If you live in an area which is covered by Lancashire County Council, you can visit its 'cost of living hub'

If you live in an area which is covered by Blackburn with Darwen Council, you can take a look at its 'cost of living support' page.

If you live in an area covered by Blackpool Council, you can visit its 'cost of living help' page. There is also the FYi directory where you can find organisations and services in Fylde Coast for health, social care, childcare and community.

If you live in an area covered by Westmorland and Furness Council you can visit its 'cost of living support' page.

If you live in an area covered by Cumberland Council you can visit its 'cost of living support' page.

Central Government 

Citizens Advice

For advice and support in relation to getting help with your bills please visit the Citizens Advice website: Get help with bills - Citizens Advice.

If the rising cost of living and mounting bills are causing you to end up in debt visit our debt advice and support page.

Sarah is an energy adviser for Citizens Advice

Cost of living payments

You may be able to get a payment to help with the cost of living if you’re getting certain benefits or tax credits.

For more information, go to the cost of living payment page on

Make your money go further

  • Maximise your income - you may be entitled to benefits (opens in a new window) you didn't realise you were entitled to.
  • Apply for a Warm Home Discount (opens in a new window).
  • Use your local foodbanks if you're eligible (you may need a referral) - they are there to support you. This then frees up money for rent, gas, electric and other essential bills.
  • Try to budget your income - break down a monthly income into weekly amounts, use envelopes/jam jars to add money in each week towards larger costs.
  • Buy marked down food at the end of the day in supermarkets and batch cook and freeze for days later in the month when money is tight.
  • Turn your thermostat down just a few degrees - this saves money when using a meter.
  • Consider investing in a heated blanket - easier and cheaper to keep warm for pence instead of pounds.
  • On the day you get paid, fill up the car with fuel, top up meters, buy a large food shop and batch cook. Pay any outstanding priorities before paying anything else. If you run out of money then at least you have the important essentials your family needs.
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Struggling with the cost of energy?

Whilst we can’t affect the price increases there are practical things you can do to help keep your bills as manageable as possible.

For advice and support in relation to energy bills please visit the Citizens Advice website (opens in new window) or call its Consumer Service helpline on 0808 223 1133.

The websites below may also be useful:

Grants to help pay energy bills

Turn 2 Us - grant search(opens in new window)
(When using the search tool, add in all the suppliers listed, otherwise it’s a nil result)

British Gas Energy Trust (opens in new window)
(This doesn't appear in the Turn2Us grant search at the moment)

Warm Home Discount (opens in new window)

Three priorities that can help:

1. Reduce your energy consumption

  • This means taking more notice of what you plug in and turn on.
  • Keep your thermostat down as far as you can and switch off your heating in the warmer weather.
  • Switch off electrical appliances if you can, don’t just leave them on standby.
  • Turn off lights in rooms you’re not using and turn down the radiators in these rooms too.

2. Check your bills for estimates

  • If you have ‘old style’ meters or the older version of Smart meters, read your meters once a
  • month. Then submit the reading either by phone to your supplier or through the app.
  • Don't reply to emails asking for the readings, the suppliers don’t always pick up the readings.

3. Talk to your supplier about reducing the direct debit (DD)

  • If you pay by DD and the amount has gone up this month, you can contact your supplier and
  • ask them to review the amount. This is especially important if you’ve been trying hard to
  • reduce usage over the last few months.
  • If you use an app for meter readings, check to see if there is an option to alter the DD
  • amount.

Have prepayment (pay as you go) meters?

Look to see if there is a cheaper tariff with a different supplier. Specifically, you’re looking for a cheaper daily standing charge AND a cheaper unit price.

Find ways to use less. It's likely this will be the only way to pay less.

Have a young family or long-term health condition?

Tell your supplier. You could be eligible for extra support by being added to their Priority Service Register.

If you’re eligible for your energy supplier’s Priority Service Register, tell United Utilities too.

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