The rising cost of living, particularly the price of essentials such as housing, energy, and food, is giving many Islanders grave cause for concern. Now help is at hand via a collaborative, one-stop, online support network designed to enable anyone struggling with bills to quickly find the help and advice they need.
Coordinated by Jersey Electricity, the online support network brings together leading Island organisations, including JT, Jersey Water, charities, the Government, and Andium Homes.
It provides contact details and links to their respective websites where Islanders can quickly access details of the help and support each organisation offers.
The founding partners have agreed to host support information on their individual sites. The partners are:
- Jersey Electricity
- Jersey Water
- Andium Homes
- Citizens’ Advice Jersey
- Age Concern
- The Salvation Army
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- Jersey Consumer Council
- Government of Jersey
Stuart Murphy, Head of Marketing and Communications said: “Jersey Electricity has always offered support to those struggling with energy bills. We can offer flexible payment solutions, offer free energy-saving advice from our Home Energy Advice Service and we’ve launched a free My JE app which has helped thousands of customers to reduce their bills. The most important thing is to contact us to discuss the options available. By partnering with other organisations in this innovative way, we hope to make that help and support more widely known.”
Malcolm Ferey, Assistant Minister for Social Security said: “I am pleased that utility companies and charities have committed to sharing the message on the enhanced Community Costs Bonus of £516.50 which is available for Islanders who qualify. This has been designed to assist with the additional expenses that are likely to be incurred this coming winter.
“When combined with the temporary removal of the temperature trigger around Cold Weather Payments and Cold Weather Bonus, and fixing the rate to £70.00, per month, from October 2022 to March 2023, this adds up to a package of measures that will help support people with the rising costs of energy and other essentials. Having trusted sources to assist with our communications is key to ensuring that as many people as possible claim this benefit and take some of the pressure off their household budgets.”
Claire Mulcahy, Chief Executive Office from Citizens’ Advice Jersey said: “We welcome the spirit of cooperation and collaboration amongst leading Island organisations to support customers in debt. At Citizens Advice Jersey, we offer free, confidential, and impartial advice to any Islander, whatever their concern. We offer advice and support to those experiencing financial hardship and have a Money Advice Service specifically for those with debt(s). Please do get in touch for any support; we are always happy to help.”
Pip Carpenter, Head of Commercial Market from JT said: “We know that many people are facing real challenges and struggling to pay their bills with the current increases in the cost of living. We are here to help, and we want to encourage anyone in this situation to talk to us. The JT My Account App is there to help customers understand, monitor, and manage their usage. Details of this and information about the support that’s available can be found on our website. Working together to support each other is what being part of a community is all about. We’re here to help, so please talk to us if you are having trouble with your payments.”
Helier Smith, Chief Executive at Jersey Water said: “We are delighted to be working together with the other Utility companies to help support vulnerable Islanders. We are all acutely aware of the impact of the rising cost of living on Islanders, any Jersey Water customer worried about paying their bill is encouraged to contact our Customer Services Team. The trained team is ready to work with and support any customer in financial hardship or who is having trouble paying their water bill.”
Dominic Egre of St Paul de Vincent (Jersey) said: “Partnerships between organisations that support Islanders in need have never been more important. Although traditionally a Foodbank, SVP provides emergency assistance to Islanders in need because of temporary hardship. We assist with support for essential food, products for babies and young children, guidance on energy costs, and emergency electricity credit. We aim to help people through hard times and give them a little breathing space.”