Help with the cost of living crisis

person holding a food box

The rising cost of living is affecting us all. Watch a short video to see what you can do to keep warm, save energy and help tackle climate change.

We are supporting residents and businesses, as well as signposting to other agencies, which can offer help and advice.


Energy Costs

Beat the Cold

Beat the Cold is committed to helping those who live in, or are at risk of fuel poverty, or whose health could be detrimentally affected by a cold home.
Contact them by phone on 01782 914915 or via the website:



Citizens Advice Energy Team

Support on a one-to-one and group basis, advice, information, help with other warmer homes initiatives, access to carbon monoxide monitors. They also link in to Beat the Cold. You can contact the team via email or call 0808 278 7874
Or clients can visit

Energy Saving Trust
The Energy Saving Trust website has lots of useful tips which might help save money on your energy costs.

Financial Support

Benefit Checker
Around one in 10 people are missing out on benefits they are entitled to. Click on the link below to check if you are eligible for any additional help.

Problems paying your Council tax
If you are having difficulties making your payments, there may be options available to you. Click on the link below to find out what to do.

Problems paying your rent
If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not cover the full amount of your rent, you can apply a discretionary housing payment.

Budgeting and debt advice
Citizens Advice have a dedicated debt advice team, people can access the service, by telephone (Adviceline), email/web chat and self referral from web site. People can also drop into the office in Cannock (Civic Centre) or call for appointment.

They also have specialist advisers supporting people with enduring mental health issues/debt and benefits

Food Costs

With the rising cost of food, Food banks located across the District may be able to help you, depending on your circumstances. Find out more below:

Heath Hayes Community Food Shop is a support group offering food support to anyone who needs it. FInd out more:

Brereton Community Shop is located at Brereton Community Hub every Tuesday 10am-12pm and Thursday 4-6:30pm. It is open to everyone from Cannock District and surrounding villages. Visit the website for more information

Please look under the Foodbanks and Warm Hubs tab to find out opening times of foodbanks and foodtables

Water Costs

We know that sometimes finding the money to pay your water bill can be difficult so it is very important if you are struggling that you contact South Staffs Water ( immediately on 0800 09 30 610. If you are struggling to meet your payments they have a range of options available to help support you

The Assure tariff can help tenants who are on low incomes and struggling to afford their water charges.  Assure is available for residential customers who meet the eligibility criteria- either:

  • Have a total household income of less than £19,050 per year
  • For households with dependent children, an additional £1500 per child will be added to £19,050 amount

Income will not be be included from the below benefits:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Carers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit or Housing Allowance (UC)
  • Council Tax Benefit (not 25% single occupancy)
  • Disabled or severly disabled element of Child Tax Credit


Or Customers who receive Pension Credit (Guarantee Element)

 To find out more and compare tariffs visit the South Staffs Water website

If you do not qualify for Assure, South Staffs Water will see if you qualify for Watersure. 

Watersure is a tariff which helps some people with their bills, you have to be on a certain benefit and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school age children.  You do have to be on a water meter to qualify for Watersure.  Customers on Watersure pay for the water they use up to a fixed maximum which won't be higher than the average household water bill.

Charitable Trust- you can apply to the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust if meeting the cost of your water bill is causing you hardship. The Trust is a registered charity that operates independently of South Staffs Water and aims to assist those customers who are in need or who are suffering hardship or other distress.    The Trust tales applications from people experiencing hardship or difficulties who are in arrears with their water and sewerage bills.  For more information on Charitable Trust please ring 0800 09 30 610 or visit

Water Direct- In some circumstances South Staffs Water can arrange for water bills to be paid out of benefits paid by the Department for Work and Pensions.  This scheme is known as Water Direct. The scheme is designed to help tenants who have arrears on their water charges and are in receipt of qualifying benefits.

Find out more by visiting here you can click on the links to the tariffs and download the form or call 0800 09 30 610 for a form to be sent out.

Click on the document Application for Assure Tariff below, Print and complete the form, then scan or email it to

Assure Tariff application form.pdf (191.56 KB)

Assure Assist Tariff application form.pdf (702.31 KB)

South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust application form.pdf (209.53 KB)

Foodbanks and Warm Hubs

Here you will find a directory of food banks, community tables, warm hubs and community cafes across the district.

If you would like to add anything to the directory please email or call 01543 464548

Places of Welcome, warm hubs, food banks and food tables.pdf (200.29 KB)

Broadband Help

Broadband deals for low-income families — how to get a social tariff on universal credit

Having strong, reliable broadband connection is as essential as every other household utility. It’s crucial for children as a learning tool at home, it's extremely useful for job hunting, checking on your benefit claims or access online portals to view your rent account, helpful for getting shopping done, communicating with the Council, and keeping in touch with loved ones.

Some broadband providers offer bespoke deals, known as 'social tariffs'. This allows tenants on low income to afford a broadband connection and to get the same access and opportunities online as others. With the cost-of-living crisis and broadband price hikes driving up everyone's bills, it's never been more important to see if you can reduce your monthly outgoings.

What is social tariff broadband deals?

Social tariffs are a way to get broadband for Tenants receiving Universal Credit and other types of benefits. The broadband deals are much cheaper than the standard monthly rate for the service and are reserved for these customers to help them afford the usual monthly price of a broadband connection. The broadband packages still usually the same speed, quality and like other home broadband deals. For more information, Ofcom publishes what options are available and

Can you get free broadband?

While the UK does not offer free broadband, Universal Credit receivers can qualify for heavily discounted broadband deals from a number of broadband providers.

In fact, TalkTalk recently announced a collaboration with Jobcentre Plus to offer six months of free broadband to those that are eligible. If you're not eligible but still on Universal Credit, your best bet would be to choose a specific low-income broadband deal offered by a UK home broadband provider.

So even though there is no free internet for Universal Credit customers, there are many ways you can make your broadband bill a lot easier to manage.

Are there other cheap broadband deals available?

Some of the social tariff contracts may have data limits and/or may not include phone service. Depending on your household requirements, it may be better to look for a standard unlimited cheap broadband contract. Broadband comparison services such Broadband Genie and offer free impartial advice to help you find a contract to suit your needs. There are many low-cost broadband deals to choose from. They aren’t as cheap as social Tariff, but they come with some of the lowest monthly prices you could find on the broadband market.

Business Help

If you run a business in Staffordshire advice and support is available to help you manage the impact of cost of living rises on your business.

Advice Leaflets and Videos

The Centre for Sustainable Energy have a raft of information and advice on domestic energy. 

Central heating controls

Condensation, damp and mould

Stay warm at home for cheap

Economy 7 

Cold homes and health

How much electricity am I using?

Saving water to save energy

Solar electricity

There is much more information available on their website

There are also many practical videos providing energy advice, which may help you get the best value out of heating your home.

Resources | Centre for Sustainable Energy (


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