Contact your energy supplier as soon as possible if you are struggling to pay your bills. They have a responsibility to help you, and many give extra help to older and disabled customers.
Financial help from energy suppliers and the government is available to some people.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
The scheme provides an energy bill discount for certain households (£140 for winter 2016/17, but the amount changes annually). The money isn't paid to you directly, it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill between October and April.
There are two eligibility groups:
- The core group: people receiving certain types of Pension Credit (the criteria change annually).
- The broader group: decided by each supplier. Disabled people who are receiving certain benefits or have a low income are often eligible.
The scheme is run by energy suppliers. If you qualify you will automatically receive a letter in the post. If you believe that you qualify for the discount but do not get a letter, contact the Warm Home Discount team.
Winter Fuel Payment
This is an annual grant given to help older people pay for heating. You could get £100-£300, depending on your circumstances. You usually get a Winter Fuel payment automatically with your state pension or other benefits. If you are eligble and don't receive payment you'll have to make a direct claim to the Winter Fuel Payment team.
You are usually eligible if you were born on or before a certain date, which changes each year (eg 5 May 1953 for winter 2016-2017).
Cold Weather Payments
If you are receiving certain benefits, the government will give you £25 every time there’s a seven-day period with temperatures of 0°C or under. It will be paid automatically with your benefits.
Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or Pension Centre, or visit the Government's Cold Weather Payment pages:
Last updated: November 2016