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If you need assistance in paying your energy bills, there are a number of ways to find help.

Government schemes and allowances have been introduced to help people manage the cost of their energy bills. However, many people are unaware that they could be eligible.

Here, we explain what support is available and how you can apply.

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel Payment (or Winter Fuel Allowance) provides between £100 and £300 per year towards your winter energy bills. You receive the payment before mid-January each year.

Am I eligible?

The Winter Fuel Payment is for UK residents born on or before 5 October 1954. Most eligible people will receive the payment automatically alongside your state pension.

How do I apply?

Most people will not need to apply, but if you have not received the payment, you can make a claim here.

Cold Weather Payment

As the name suggests, cold weather payments are available during cold snaps.

For every seven straight days of weather below 0 °C, you will receive £25 towards your energy bills between 1 November and 31 March.

Am I eligible?

You could be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment if you receive any of the following benefits:

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

How do I apply?

You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you will receive it automatically. The scheme usually opens in November.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off discount from your home energy bills. This scheme was established to replace social energy tariffs, which have now been phased out.

During winter 2020 to 2021, you could receive up to £140. You can apply alongside some other schemes, like the Winter Fuel Payment.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you fit into either of these two categories:

  • You receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit - known as the ‘core group’
  • You are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme - known as the ‘broader group’

You can receive the Warm Home Discount if you have a prepayment meter.

How do I apply?

You can find out more about the Scheme and how to apply here. If you think you may be eligible but don’t receive the discount you can also contact your energy supplier.

National Concessionary Fuel Scheme

If you qualify for the allowance, you’ll get a delivery of solid fuel every 4 or 5 weeks, depending on where you live.

You might be able to change to a cash allowance if you already get fuel through the scheme and your circumstances have not changed.

Am I eligible?

The scheme is open to the following categories of person:

  • An ex-employee of the National Coal Board (NCB) or British Coal Corporation (BCC)
  • A widow or widower of an ex-employee who would have been eligible

How do I apply?

To apply, contact the National Concessionary Fuel Office (NCFO).

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0345 759 0529 or 0370 386 9961

Charis Grants

Charis is a body which helps to administer grants towards home energy bills on behalf of some of the UK’s energy suppliers.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility is usually based on having limited financial resources but varies a little depending on the Trust responsible.

How do I apply?

You can find more information on how to apply from Charis, or apply to one of the energy trusts directly:

British Gas Energy Trust

EDF Energy Trust

E.on Energy Trust

npower Energy Fund

Scottish Power Hardship Fund

Priority Services Register

This is a free service offered by all energy suppliers. It doesn’t exactly offer a discount on your household bills but registering provides free services. This includes:

  • Priority re connection after power cuts
  • Free appliance safety checks
  • Regular meter readings
  • Bills in large print or with Braille

By registering, you can't be disconnected by your supplier in winter months.

Am I eligible?

The scheme is open to the following categories of person:

  • People who have a disability
  • People with a visual or hearing impairment
  • Those with long term ill-health
  • People over pensionable age.

How do I apply?

To apply, contact your energy supplier.

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