Residents have until the end of March - or when the funding is spent - to register.
The money is part of the Household Support Fund, being provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help people with cost-of-living pressures and administered by the Helping Hands project team at Kent County Council (KCC).
The KCC team is working with district and borough councils to ensure as many different groups of people in the community are being helped as possible and this voucher, to be redeemed against gas and electric bills, is just one of the ways the latest funding is being distributed.
The DWP issues guidance for each round of funding and uptake of schemes is constantly evaluated by the KCC team with some changes made through the process to maximise its impact.
To date, £33 million has been provided through the Household Support Fund scheme in Kent since it first began in October 2021 in response to the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The eligibility criteria for the £100 energy voucher:
- aged 16 or over
- a Kent resident, permanently living within one of the 12 local authorities covered by Kent County Council (this excludes Medway, Bromley and Bexley)
- in receipt of means-tested benefits, or household income is less than £30,000 per year before tax
- savings not above £250
- not be receiving free school meals support for any child within your household (in a separate scheme, families who are supported with free school meal vouchers in the holidays will also receive a £50 voucher per eligible child to be used to support with home energy costs. This will be issued to them via their child’s school).
For more information about the £100 self-referral voucher scheme and to access the application form, please visit kent.gov.uk/householdsupportfund
If there is someone you know who you think could be eligible, please make them aware. If you are supporting individuals who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the cost-of-living crisis and would like to receive more information regarding the professional referral energy voucher scheme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Discounts on energy bills
Everyone should be getting a £400 discount on their energy bills this winter. This is the six-month Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) from the government and has looked like a £66/67 discount on your energy bills every month between October and March.
There are reports that thousands of people with a traditional prepayment meter, who will receive the discount as vouchers sent by text, email or post or an automatic credit when they top up at their usual top up point, have not been redeeming them.
Issued vouchers expire after 90 days. If a voucher has expired, the recipient can ask for a reissue from their energy supplier and they must all be redeemed by 30 June 2023.
People are encouraged to contact their energy supplier to ensure they have received all their vouchers.
In another Helping Hands project, KCC has partnered with Citizens Advice North & West Kent and Debt Free Advice to trial the Kent Money Advice Hub
This is a free, confidential and impartial service for anyone struggling with financial difficulties.
People can use video calling, messaging and the traditional phone service or visit one of the video advice kiosks in communities around Kent for on-the-spot practical guidance.
- Visit the cost-of-living support pages