West Devon Cost Of Living - Help and Guidance

Cost of living help and guidance

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9 November 2022

Energy matters, financial support and support for your home

How You Can Help Others in West Devon

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting every household, and whilst we all recognise that things are tough, there are things we can all do to help those who are struggling the most. 

tony leech

Cllr Tony Leech, West Devon’s Lead Member for the Cost of Living, said: “West Devon is known for having a good community spirit, with lots of community groups prepared to step up and help those people in need.

"We saw it during the pandemic and we are seeing it again now. But there are also things you can do as an individual if you want to reach out and help others.”

Volunteer with Citizens Advice 

Citizens Advice

If you enjoy working as part of a team, want to meet new people, enhance your CV or learn new skills, then consider volunteering with your local Citizens Advice office! 

As a volunteer at Citizens Advice, you don’t need any specific qualifications or experience. You’ll need to be friendly and approachable and have a respect for views, values and cultures that are different to your own.

Some roles may require you to have good IT skills, be a good listener, or have good written skills.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, find out more or contact Citizens Advice by clicking here.

Support foodbanks and community fridges

Food bank

We're all seeing the price of our weekly food shop increase and for many people, they will be having to make the choice between heating their home and feeding their family. 

Foodbanks provide basic stocks of food and provisions, free of charge. Usually, foodbanks offer emergency provision only with a limited number of visits available, but all foodbanks have slightly different rules and most are offering flexibility on the number of visits. 

Foodbanks particularly appreciate foods with a long shelf life, including:

  • Tinned soup 
  • Pasta 
  • Cereal 
  • Tinned beans and much more

You can locate your nearest foodbank here.

Community fridges and larders offer food for free that would have otherwise gone to waste; this can be items with a short date or damaged packaging from local businesses.

Anyone who has too much produce from an allotment harvest or from emptying a fridge prior to a move, can also donate food. anyone can take food from a community fridge – they aren’t targeted, and they won’t always have food available as surplus food is very unpredictable. 

Let a property with Seamoor Lettings

SeaMoor Lettings

SeaMoor Lettings is an ‘ethical’ lettings service run within the Council’s Housing Options team. They are ethical’ because they work with landlords to ensure that the properties they offer to tenants are of a good standard, and rented out at an ‘affordable’ rent. That's something that is very difficult to find right now! 

SeaMoor Lettings charge a very low rate of commission to cover the services and they support tenants, and landlords, to ensure they are operating their tenancies legally and correctly.  As a result, most of their tenants remain in their homes long term, with several tenants being in the same property for five to ten years!

The scheme was established to support local people to stay within South Hams and West Devon and to address the difficulty in finding affordable homes in the private rented sector.

The SeaMoor team would like to take this opportunity to thank all our existing landlords for the service they are helping us to provide. By letting your properties through SeaMoor at affordable rents, you are making a huge difference to your tenants' lives and to your community.

If you would like to know more contact SeaMoor Lettings: Seamoor.Lettings@swdevon.gov.uk

Open a communal 'warm space'

radiator heater

Do you have a free event or a place that can provide a communal warm space where local people can gather together this winter? 

Let us know about your free warm spaces and can make sure that local people know where to come and how to access the space.

Email your warm space to: communications@swdevon.gov.uk

Join our Community Group Collaboration and Support


Are you a charity or community group or organisation who wants to support the residents of West Devon with the cost of living? 

If you are, join our regular Cost of Living Community Group. West Devon Borough Council is bringing these groups together to share information, collaboration and support each other to get the best help and advice to communities.

If your group would like to join us please email: team_wd@swdevon.gov.uk

wd cost ad

Stay Warm Safely This Winter

Fire Safety

More people are finding different methods to keep their house and themselves warm this winter. 

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is offering advice on how to heat your home while staying safe and preventing the risk of fire. 

Click the button below to find advice on:

  • Portable heaters 
  • Using open fires or log/wood burners
  • Using items which need power or charging 
  • Using candles
Click Here To Find Out More Button PNG

How You Can Save Energy and Money at Home.

Reduce your Boiler Flow Temperature

White heating boiler with copper pipes beneath

Boilers often have a default temperature that is sent to radiators which is set higher than needed. This reduces the efficiency of your boiler.

Depending on the type of boiler you have, its efficiency can be improved by locating the ‘flow temperature’ dial/setting on the boiler and adjusting it to a lower temperature of 60 degrees.

Reducing your boiler flow temperature could save you approximately £100 per year.

Reducing your boiler’s flow temperature is not the same as reducing the temperature on your thermostat and won’t reduce the temperature of your home but may increase the time it takes for your home to reach the target temperature on your thermostat. People over 65, or with pre-existing health conditions, may want to set a slightly higher flow temperature before lowering it further to ensure your home warms up quickly enough.

Find out how to reduce your flow temperature by following Nesta’s simple guide

Turn Down Radiators when Rooms Are Unused


Most radiators are fitted with valves that control the temperature of a room by changing the flow of hot water to the radiator. These valves are often misused as ‘on/off’ switches, and in rooms which aren’t used all day such as bedrooms, or rooms which you don’t use regularly, these can often be set too high.

These valves are usually marked with a scale from 0 – 6, where zero (0) is off and six (6) is fully open. They can be adjusted by twisting them clockwise or anti-clockwise. Aim for the lowest setting that keeps the room to your desired temperature. A lower setting reduces the volume of hot water, using less energy and saving you money – approximately £70 per year.

Stop Heat Escaping by Draught-Proofing

White sash paned window with brown shutters

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways that you can take to stop the heat escaping and reduce your energy bills by approximately £70 per year.

  • By blocking unwanted gaps around windows, doors and the floor that let the cold air in and warm air out, you’ll use less energy to heat your home. Energy Saving Trust provide advice on how to draught proof your property
  • Window film is a form of temporary secondary glazing. By installing window film on your windows, you can help stop heat escaping through the glass. You can buy window film at most hardware shops and online and install it yourself or with the help of a professional.

Cost of Living Payment

Over eight million households are set to receive the second part of the £650 Cost of Living Payment to help with the rising cost of

From 8 November and continuing through to the 23 November, the second payment of £324 will automatically be paid into the bank accounts of most of those eligible in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who receive a qualifying DWP benefit.

Help for Household

This means they will not need to do anything to receive the money. Eligible customers who receive tax credits and no other eligible benefits from DWP will receive their payment from HMRC between 23 and 30 November.

To be eligible for the second payment, families must have been entitled to a payment (or later found to be entitled to a payment) of

Universal Credit for an assessment period that ended in the period 26 August to 25 September, income-based JSA, income related ESA, Income Support or Pension Credit for any day in the period 26 August 2022 to 25 September 2022.

For tax credit-only customers, an annual award of at least £26 for the 2022/23 tax year, of tax credits for any day in the
period 26 August to 25 September 2022.

The DWP will pay a small number of payments on 8 November, with numbers increasing significantly from 9 November. Customers
do not need to contact the Government or apply for the payment at any stage.

For more information, go to the Cost of Living Payment page on gov.uk

Where to Go for More Information.

Here you will find links to a variety of factsheets, calculators and links for the government's Help for Households.