£100 emergency oil and electricity payments Derry & Strabane: Eligibility and how to apply

Derry City & Strabane District Council will tomorrow, Tuesday, open the process of referrals for £100 emergency payments for oil and electricity for those in crisis.

The standalone Council initiative will help up to 2,400 households with an income of under £40,000 who are unable or struggling to find money to cover the costs of fuel bills.

A spokesperson for DCSDC confirmed that the Emergency Fuel Support Programme will open for referrals tomorrow, Tuesday, at 9.30am.

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The referral form and details on how to make a referral from tomorrow have been posted on the Council’s website at www.derrystrabane.com/Community/Hardship-Support/Emergency-Fuel-Support-Programme.

A previous Derry Against Fuel Poverty march and rally sets off along Duke Street. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2239GS – 112

Forms can also be collected from Council offices at Strand Road and Derry Road, Strabane or from facilitators Resource Centre Derry in Carnhill and the Advice NW offices at the Embassy building Waterloo Place, Derry and Dock Road, Strabane.

The initiative by Councillors is part of the Council’s response to the cost of living crisis, and elected representatives have spoken of how the limited scheme is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed but said they felt compelled to act.

The Council spokesperson said: “This programme due to its limited budget, will not be able to support everyone who is in need given the scale of the current crisis and it is important to note that it is aimed specifically at those in an emergency situation and in genuine need.

“The purpose of this emergency fuel support programme is to provide a one-off emergency fuel payment of £100 to a household in a financial emergency and requiring support to make a fuel payment."

Some of the attendance at a previous Derry Against Fuel Poverty rally in Waterloo Square. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2209GS – 070

Advice NW and Resource Centre Derry Carnhill has been appointed by Council to undertake the eligibility checks, while the Bryson Group was appointed as the Council’s fuel payment partner to provide the payments.

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A Council spokesperson said: “The programme seeks to support 2,405 households across the council area with an emergency £100 payment towards an electricity bill/top up or an oil top up.

“Referrals forms will be available from Monday via the Council’s website or from the Council office reception desks at Derry Road Strabane and Strand Road Derry or from Advice NI at Dock Street Strabane or the Embassy Building Strand Road Derry or from RCD (Carnhill) Racecourse Road, Derry.”