How to get help with your energy bills this winter

🕑 6 minute read

Struggling with your energy bills? Schemes such as the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment could help. Find out more.

If you’re worried about keeping up with your energy bills this winter, you’re not alone. To help you in these tough times, there’s support available from the government and certain suppliers.

Let’s break down these schemes to see if you’re eligible for help.

Remember, these schemes are subject to change. So it’s important to keep checking back and visiting the listed websites for up-to-date information.

Help paying off your energy debts

If you’ve fallen behind on your energy bills, you might be eligible for a grant to help pay them back.

These suppliers are currently offering financial support, which could be in the form of grants, or repayment plans to spread the cost:

You will need to provide details about your financial situation in order to apply for a grant. Eligibility may vary between suppliers.

If your supplier isn’t listed it’s a good idea to contact them directly to see what extra support they can give you. If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer.
 

Winter Fuel Payments

What is the Winter Fuel Payment?

The government’s Winter Fuel Payments could give you between £250 and £600 to put towards heating your home each winter. This includes a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of £150 to £300, which is available in both winter 2022 to 2023 and winter 2023 to 2024.

Am I eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment?

You are eligible for 2022 and 2023 Winter Fuel Payment if you:

  • were born on or before 25th September 1956
  • reside in the United Kingdom. But if you live abroad, you may be eligible in some cases.

Check www.gov.uk to find out more and check your Winter Fuel Payment eligibility.

How to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment

If you’re eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment and haven’t had it before, you should receive it automatically, so there shouldn’t be a need to claim. But there are exceptions if you receive benefits. For a comprehensive list, see the www.gov.uk. It also provides information on how to claim by phone or email.

Even if you don’t qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you may still be able to get a Cold Weather Payment or join the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

What is the Warm Home Discount?

The Warm Home Discount Scheme gives you a discount of £150 off your winter electricity bill, paid sometime between October and March each year.

You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill (instead of your electricity bill) if your supplier provides both your gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out if this is the case. You can find a full list of suppliers that are part of the scheme on www.gov.uk.

Am I eligible for the Warm Home Discount?

You are eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if…

  • you’re on a low income and you meet the relevant criteria with your energy supplier
  • you get the Guarantee Credit as part of your Pension Credit.

How to apply for the Warm Home Discount

This scheme opens in November every year, so make sure you check back or visit www.gov.uk to apply.

Each electricity supplier decides who will receive the discount and supplies are limited, so check as early as possible.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme does not affect either the Cold Weather Payment or the Winter Fuel Payment.

Cold Weather Payment

What is the Cold Weather Payment?

If the average temperature where you live is forecast to be, or falls below, zero degrees celsius for seven days in a row, you’ll receive a Cold Weather Payment. It’s a local grant of £25 for each seven-day period of freezing weather.

Am I eligible for a Cold Weather Payment?

You will be eligible for this payment if you receive one of these benefits:

  • Pension Credit.
  • Income Support.
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Universal Credit.
  • Support for Mortgage Interest.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

How to apply for a Cold Weather Payment

You don’t need to apply for a Cold Weather Payment – it’s paid automatically. This scheme opens in November every year. Check back here or visit www.gov.uk to find out more and apply. 

Updated February 2023