We know that money can be tight at times. Many of our customers have told us that they are struggling due to increasing living costs.

We are here to support you in looking after all aspects of your wellbeing.

Keeping your home warm

There are simple things you can do to reduce your energy bills, including:

  • Reduce your boiler flow to 60°C
  • Draught-proof your letter box, cat flap and keyholes
  • Move furniture away from radiators so they heat more of the room
  • Use draught excluders under doors, and keep doors closed whenever possible
  • Close your curtains in the evening to stop heat escaping







The government suggests keeping the temperature of your home between 18 and 20 degrees. If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or older, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, it’s best to heat your home to at least 18°C if you can afford to.

Income support

Benefits advice and budgeting

Our Welfare Benefits team is here to provide advice and support to help you understand the benefits system. Between April 2022 and March 2023, we helped Swan residents gain an extra £1,439,158 in benefits that they may not have otherwise received.

We can help you to identify if you may be eligible for certain benefits, assist you in claiming, and if necessary, we will represent you at appeal tribunals. Our team can also provide information and support about the changes to the benefit system due to the Welfare Reform including the Social Size, Benefit Cap and Universal Credit.

You can also use our online benefits calculator to work out if you are entitled to receive a state benefit.

For further information on benefit entitlement, you can contact us on 0300 3030 2500 or email

Government support

The UK government’s Help for Households campaign includes several support schemes, including: 

  • Get help to save on a low income
  • Access pension credit on a low income
  • Access extra money available for carers
  • Check you can access Universal Credit
  • Get help if you can't pay your tax bill
  • Claim Marriage Allowance
  • Increase your pay

Other support

  • StepChange can provide you with a personal action plan to help you manage your way out of debt.
  • MoneyHelper provide free and impartial help with money, backed by the UK government.
  • National Debtline provide free debt advice to help you manage your finances.

Gas and electric

Your gas and electricity company has to offer you a range of methods to help you pay your energy bill. They can only disconnect your home as a last resort and must give you proper notice before they do so.

To find out how your energy provider is supporting customers, please visit their website directly. Links to the websites of some of the UK’s largest firms can be found below:

If you have a prepayment meter and can’t afford to top it up, ask your energy supplier for ‘emergency credit’. You can also ask your local council or food bank if they have fuel vouchers available.

If you’re a vulnerable person, ask your energy provider to put you on the Priority Services Register. This will give you advance notice of planned power cuts (important if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons) and priority support in an emergency.

Other support

  • Citizens Advice help with your energy bills includes access to a fuel hardship fund, a budgeting tool, plus temporary credit on gas and electricity meters.
  • The Fuel Bank Foundation provide emergency financial support through the Foundation’s network of partners for people on prepayment meters.
  • Energy Saving Trust help with understanding how to save money on your energy bills.

Travel costs

The UK government’s support measures include 50% off your travel costs if you’re on Universal Credit.

Childcare costs

The UK government’s support offers up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the cost of childcare.

Food help

  • The Trussell Trust helps families access food through a network of food banks.
  • FoodCycle helps families across England access free meals and support. 

Mental health support

  • Mind help you get the support you need, whether you’re living with a mental health problem yourself or supporting someone who is. 
  • The Samaritans if you’re having a difficult time and need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are always willing to listen.
  • NHS England provide mental health services throughout the UK.

Your council

Click on your local council in the list below to find out about cost-of-living advice for where you live. 

For customers living in Essex: