Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I have been trying to eat healthier especially so since I was told I need a heart bypass in a few weeks time, and I have always eaten lots of fruit which I love. SO off I pop to my local Co-Op, and buy my fruit, and a pack of cooked beef (which cost £1) and I nearly fainted when I was asked to pay £22:90 at the checkout!!!!!

Sodding hell, can I afford to continue this healthy lifestyle?? I am praying they don't stop my benefits, cos this on top of my Gas/Electricity bill has gone up by £30:00/month (with no prior knowledge, they wewe lucky there was that much extra in my account, it IS Christmas for Gawds sake!!!

Are Npower within their rights to increase a direct debit by £30 a month without giving you notice beforehand??

12 Replies

hi i got intouch with my gas company regarding my bills and falling behind there is a scheme

where they take money from directley from ur benifits befor you recive it so you got peace of mind the gas and electric is paid weekley or fornightley .

they should have notified you of increase pryer to taking it ,

have you applyed for money towards your electric winter bill as you can get 130 of your bill if you on benifit or dla , just enquire with Npower .

hope it all works out for you ,

gentle hugs xxxx


Fortunately or unfortunately if I ever get heart problems I have been told not to go for 5 portions a day as it sets my ibs off big time... Porridge in the morning and a banana and a little veg at night with evening meal are all I can take, just can't win.....

I absolutely refuse to use direct debit for gas and electricity I just put away a bit each week cos I have heard of companies doing this all the time, last time edf told me I should change to direct debit... I just said ask me again and I will change companies... I would rather have the money in my bank building up every week then paying the bill in full as if you go into credit you don't get the money back they just lower your payments again....

VG x


Yes, VG - I know what you mean with the IBS, I have diverticular disease, so I do have to be wary of eating too much fruit, but I do love it.

Been in touch with NPower and thewy apparantly sent me an account statement 2 months ago, but I can't find it anywhere. I am just glad I didn't overspend this Christmas or go mad in the Sales :-)

1 like

I send my daughter off to the local market for fruit n'veg - if you go later in the day they usually drop the prices.

Don't forget the cut price supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl - they have some good bargains, and Asda nearly always have deals on seasonal stuff. Frozen veg and seasonal veg can work out much cheaper, and baked beans and tinned tomatoes can count as one of your five a day - they're cheap, and usually good for IBS.

If fruit and veg do upset your IBS, try them pureed in the liquidiser - that works for some people, and creamed peas and sprouts are specially delish!

Shopping around used to be difficult, but now you can compare prices online, which is pretty good.

Fuel prices are so high, I think there will be a revolution before long!

I'm lucky, 'cos i live in a tiny flat on the second floor, so I'm sandwiched between two layers of heated housing - how's that for insulation? Only in the bitterest weather have I needed to put on one radiator, and that works on off-peak. Even so, my bills are far from tiny!

It's a tough world out there, girls, but with the internet at least we can look for bargains!

Love ... Moffy xxx


Aldi have a Super 6 of fruit & veg that change every couple of weeks - they're usually 69p or under I must admit I buy a lot of frozen veg and occasionally frozen fruit (I like crumbles - Sainsbury do a cheap, frozen, basic mixed summer fruits that's yummy) & I often go to ASDA etc late on & pick up reduced stuff.

I've applied for the Warm Home Discount (Broader Groups) Scheme (worth £130) via British Gas but other companies also have their versions.

NPower is here:


That is a great scheme, I looked it up we didn't qualify so its extra blankets for us, but I told my friend as her husband is ill and unable to work and they did qualify so thanks to everyone who posted that link as it helped my friend

VG x


I thought that if you had 1 disabled person in the property you qualified?


I agree with Lima6MCT,I shop at aldi every week and the veg is a lot cheaper than the other supermarkets,also sometimes on a Sunday we go to our local car boot and there are traders there who sell all the fruit and veg you need and you would be surprised how much you can get,great for if your making a stew,good place to go if you have one in your area..PB xx


Hi all. Im with EDF and I sent off an application for the warm home discount, even tho it looked like I dont qualify, because theyve changed the criteria since last year. Last year you'd qualify if you were on ESA/ income support/ other benefits, but now if you get ESA, you have to be on the disability rate (support group i suppose). Its not very clear, so I applied anyway, but not heard anything yet. Fingers crossed. I got £120 last year, which was such a big help. So if your not sure if you qualify for anything, apply anyway. You might be pleasantly surprised !! Good luck


Hello its Whizz.

I have just been told by a friend last week we can apply to our energy supplier for help called spread the warmth programme you need to talk to your energy supplier or go on the net for spread the warmth grants supplied by the energy suppliers to reduce your energy bills by up to £130 it was started by npower but others are I have been told doing different types aimed at low earners, disable, elderly to help with the rising energy costs.

warmth home dicount on the net is another, I will try to search some more because we need to get all the help we can I was also told to speak to my local Social Services to ask for a occupational therapist to attend or a case worker to help with my needs, my local net is was another way to get help locally also Aspiro for help to guide me in the right direction too, so far I am now waiting for my case worker Amy that has been assigned to act on my behalf, also if you have a case worker & occupational therapist it increases your chances of success too.

I hope this is of some help to some of my friends in the fibro/me community good luck Whizz



The Warm Home Discount scheme is a four-year scheme that runs from April 2011 to March 2015 to help low-income and vulnerable households with energy costs. The scheme will be worth up to £1.1bn and we expect around 2 million low-income and vulnerable households will be assisted annually. The funding will come from the participating energy suppliers.

There are four elements to the scheme:

Core Group: The Warm Home Discount scheme requires participating energy suppliers to give a discount on their electricity bill to a specified group of their older customers on low incomes, known as the Core Group.

Broader Group: support is being targeted at low income and vulnerable households who are fuel poor or in a fuel poverty risk group. Participating energy suppliers have discretion over the eligibility criteria for the Broader Group, but still need to target those in or at risk of fuel poverty and their criteria for this and the processes they will use to verify eligibility, will be subject to approval from Ofgem

Legacy Spend: energy suppliers can continue to provide support through discounted/social tariffs and rebates.

Industry Initiatives: energy supplier-funded programmes and partnerships which assist those in or at risk of fuel poverty with a range of support, including benefit entitlement checks, debt advice and energy efficiency measures.


Eligibility for the Core Group is linked specifically to the type of benefits received. In winter 2012/13, you may qualify for this energy discount if on 21 July 2012 (the qualifying date) you are either:

aged under 80 and receiving only the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (no Savings Credit)

aged 80 or over and are receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, (even if you get Savings Credit as well)

And both of the following apply:

your electricity supplier is participating in the scheme

you or your partner is named on your electricity bill


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and participating electricity suppliers have shared some limited information about their customers. This allows participating suppliers to give the discount automatically to customers who qualify or to write to those who may qualify but could not be matched automatically.


The next energy discounts will be made in winter 2012/13. If you qualify you’ll receive a confirmation letter from the Government in winter 2012/13.

If you qualify but a rebate can’t be made automatically, you’ll receive a letter asking you to provide further information that is available on your electricity bill.

Please note this scheme is now closed for winter 2011/12. Discounts for that year were £120.


The Government recognises that other groups such as low income families and those with long-term illnesses and disabilities may also need assistance with their energy costs.

As part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, participating electricity suppliers have been asked to provide a set amount of support to a 'broader group' of their customers, which will also receive a discount of £130 in 2012/13.

More information on which suppliers currently have schemes running is available on the Broader Group Scheme web page.


As part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, participating electricity suppliers are providing financial support to a 'Broader Group' of their low income and vulnerable customers.

Schemes are now starting to open for 2012/13 (Year 2). Please use the contacts below to find out more about the Broader Group schemes and other support available from electricity suppliers. 2011/12 (Year 1) schemes have now closed.

The participating suppliers have had their own sets of eligibility criteria approved by Ofgem and have a limit on the number of customers who can benefit. Customers who may be eligible could include those on low income with a disability, long term illness or those with young children, but the actual criteria used will vary as it depends on which electricity supplier you are with. A discount of £130 will be issued via the electricity bill of customers who have been identified under the Broader Group schemes in 2012/13."


The electricity suppliers involved in this scheme are:


British Gas

EDF Energy




M&S Energy


Sainsbury's Energy

Scottish Gas

Scottish Hydro


Southern Electric



Utility Warehouse


I would love to do my five a day, but like VG, IBS and five a day just do not go. But I anot surprised at the prices. I would have thought they would let you know about the gas prices going up and you paying more without knwoing. But I bet if you ring they will say 'oh the letter must have got mixed up in the Xmas post'. Heard that excuse so many times. But I thought they were supposed to notify you about it xxxxx