Utilities and charities unite to launch online network to support struggling islanders

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The rising cost of living, especially the price of basic necessities like housing, energy and food, worries many Islanders. Now help is at their fingertips via a one-stop, collaborative online support network designed to ensure anyone struggling with bills can quickly find the help and advice they need.

Coordinated by Jersey Electricity, the online support network brings together major island organizations including JT, Jersey Water, charities, government and Andium Homes.

It provides contact details and links to their respective websites where Islanders can quickly access details of help and support offered by each organization.

The founding partners have agreed to host support information on their respective sites. The partners are:

  • Jersey Electric
  • Jersey Water
  • news
  • Andium Houses
  • Jersey Citizens Councils
  • Age-related concern
  • The Salvation Army
  • Saint 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 who are having trouble with their energy bills. We can offer flexible payment solutions, offer free energy saving advice through our home energy advice service and we have launched a free My JE app which has helped thousands of customers reduce their bills . The most important thing is to contact us to discuss the options available. By partnering with other organizations in this innovative way, we hope to make this help and support known more widely.

Malcolm Ferey, Deputy Minister for Social Security, said: “I am pleased that utility companies and charities have pledged to share the message about the improved Community Cost Bonus of £516.50 which is available for eligible islanders. This has been designed to help you with the extra expenses that may be incurred this winter.

“When combined with the temporary removal of the temperature trigger around cold weather payments and the cold weather bonus, and fixing the rate at £70.00 per month, from October 2022 to March 2023, this s adds to a package of measures that will help support people with rising costs for energy and other essentials. Having trusted sources to help us with our communications is key to ensuring that as many people as possible claim this benefit and relieve some of the pressure on their household budget.

Claire Mulcahy, Managing Director of Citizens’ Advice Jersey, said: “We welcome the spirit of cooperation and collaboration between the main island organizations to support clients in debt. At Citizens Advice Jersey we offer free, confidential and unbiased advice to any islander, whatever their concern. We offer advice and support for those experiencing financial difficulties and have a financial counseling service specifically for those in debt. Please contact us for any assistance; We are always happy to help.”

Pip Carpenter, commercial market manager at 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 here to help customers understand, monitor and manage their usage. You can find details about this and information about available support on our website. Working together to support each other is what it means to be part of a community. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any issues with your payments.

Helier Smith, Managing Director of Jersey Water, said: “We are delighted to be working with the other utility companies to help support vulnerable islanders. We are all acutely aware of the impact the rising cost of living is having on islanders, any Jersey Water customer concerned about paying their bill is encouraged to contact our customer service team. The trained team is ready to work with and support any customer in financial difficulty or struggling to pay their water bill.

Dominic Egre from St Paul de Vincent (Jersey) said: “Partnerships between organizations that support islanders in need have never been more important. Although traditionally a food bank, SVP provides emergency assistance to Islanders in need due to temporary hardship. We help with support for essential foods, products for babies and young children, advice on energy costs and emergency electricity credit. Our goal is to help people get through the tough times and give them some respite.

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