New heating charges for 2023/24
Council tenants who are provided with heat and hot water through a council-owned district energy network (DEN) currently pay a fixed charge for this. Due to the recent increase in gas prices, the fixed tariff will now increase. The new charges will come into effect on the 19th of June 2023. All tenants have received written notifications confirming their new charges.
Please note that council tenants are required to pay the new amount, which will be effective from 19 June 2023.
Understanding your heating charges for 2023/24
We understand that tenants may have concerns about the increase in heat charges for the remainder of 2023/24. It's important to know that the cost of gas in 2022/23 was much higher than in previous years, affecting the overall cost of providing heat to homes.
Residents with a gas boiler and private energy provider also saw significant bill increases. To support our tenants, we have taken steps to reduce the impact of these increased charges. For the 2023/24 period, the council will cover 25% of the cost of gas, reducing tenants' charges to 75% of the full cost. This means that tenants' charges are lower than they would have been without the council's support. The discount has already been applied to tenants' accounts, so no further action is necessary.
Upcoming changes to heat charges for Broadwater Farm residents
At Broadwater Farm, all residents currently pay a flat rate for their heating, regardless of usage. However, we will be making changes to this system this summer. Instead of the flat rate, residents will be charged based on how much heat and hot water they use, as measured by meters. This new system means that if a resident uses less heat, their bill will be reduced, while high users will see an increase in their charges.
We will provide more information to residents in the upcoming months, and residents are not required to take any immediate action.
What residents need to do
Residents do not need to take any action at this time. An 'amount to pay' letter will be sent at the end of the week before 19 June 2023, which will provide a list of all charges and housing benefits. This letter will show the exact amount of the weekly or monthly payment after any eligible housing benefit is deducted. If residents have made arrangements to clear arrears, they must continue to make agreed additional payments in addition to the new weekly rent.
If residents pay by Direct Debit, the council will provide written confirmation of the amount that will be collected from their bank account each month, including any agreed additional amounts to clear arrears. If residents currently pay by standing order, they will need to contact their bank to adjust the payment to the new net weekly amount from 19 June 2023.
Residents claiming Universal Credit must log into their journal and report the change in rent as a change of circumstances (where they live) from the date the rent increase takes effect. The new rent amount and service charges will be required when reporting the change.
Support with the rising cost of living
We know that the rise in heating charges will place a further strain on residents' finances, particularly given that life is becoming more expensive in general.
The government has put in place a package of support, including the Energy Bills Support Scheme, which residents will receive automatically. The new heating charges will not be covered by Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. Residents will be responsible for paying their heating charges in the same way that they pay for their water and electricity charges. It is possible that residents may be able to claim discretionary housing payments.
There are also resources available to help residents manage their finances and support them in accessing all the benefits to which they are entitled.
To view all available resources, please visit the Haringey, Here to Help pages.
Residents can also contact the financial support team by calling 020 8489 5611 or sending an email to Financial.Inclusion@haringey.gov.uk.
Call the income management team on 020 8489 5611 or email IncomeCollectionTeam@haringey.gov.uk.