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Most bills are going up, but some broadband bills could be going down! In some cases by half as companies like BT introduce what’s being called broadband “social tariffs”.

From April 2022, household energy bills are set to go up by up to 54%. The news that some of us can get special discounts on our broadband is very welcome.

How do I qualify?

You just need to already have certain government benefits. These could include;

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Housing benefit

The government regulator, Ofcom think that these discounts will apply to 4.2 million of us on low incomes. This could be a saving of around £144 a year.

Now if you're wondering why you hadn't heard about this before, you're certainly not alone. To quote the regulator of broadband companies like BT;

‘social tariffs’ – are available to an estimated 4.2 million households in receipt of Universal Credit. But only 55,000 homes have taken advantage of these discounted rates so far – just 1.2% of those eligible.

Who offers these deals?

Currently, six broadband providers offer these “social tariffs”. But as we’ve heard, they might not be that widely promoted and you’ll need to do some leg work first.

If you’re currently in a contract, Virgin Media are allowing you to switch to their social tariff, you just need to contact them and show that you’re eligible.

For other providers, it’s less clear if you can switch mid-contract. Our advice is to contact them and ask about their “social tarrif”. It’s worth mentioning that not all the providers are offering them. But these 6 are;

BT Home Essentials

£15  month

36 mbit/s

Community fibre

£10 month

10 mbit/s

G network Essential Fibre

£15 month

50 mbit/s

Virgin media essentials

£15 month

15 mbit/s

Hyperoptic Fair Fibre

£15 month

50 mbit/s

KCOM Full Fibre Flex

£19.99 month

50 Mbit/s

What other support is there?

Households are seeing significant strains on their budget;

  • Switching tariffs can be a great way to save. While it’s not recommended that you switch energy tariffs at this point (Feb 2022), it’s certainly a good idea to use comparison sites to shop around for better deals on things like phone packages and insurance.
  • Taking stock of all your services can really help too, ditch the ones you don’t need or see if you can downgrade. Cutting back your Netflix package, if you have one, could save £8. There’s more about this and other budgeting info here.

If you are having money worries, there’s extra support and advice on our my money pages and we are here to help. If you’re struggling, please get in touch. The sooner we know, the sooner we can help.

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