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Energy Saving Grants

what is fuel poverty?

78% of households in fuel poverty contain children, the elderly, or someone with a long-term illness or disability

(DECC  Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics, 2016. England. National Statistics)

Energy bills are increasing and the support is confusing.

So, with changing requirements and new schemes  announced we have drawn up a summary of financial support from Government currently available this Autumn 2023. (Updated 11.10.23)

The information will be subject to change with further Government announcements.

  • Cold Weather Payment - Starts 1st November 2023.  Certain benefits only such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit.  Paid automatically. £25 for each 7 day period of cold weather.
    In Scotland:  £50 Winter Heating Payment for individuals on certain benefit.  Paid automatically.  Not dependant on weather.

  • Warm Home Discount - Reopens 16th October 2023.  Details to be announced.

  • Winter Fuel Payment - Paid automatically in November/December 2023 to those born on or before 25th September 1957 if receiving state pension or other benefits such as Universal Credit and Housing Benefit.   Amount - between £250 to £600 includes a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.  This is in addition to the Cost of Living Payment for those on a low income benefit (see below).

  • Cost of Living Payment - £150 to be made from June/July 2023 to disabled on certain benefits such as Personal Independence Payment, Adult Disability Payment (Scotland),  Disability Living Allowance (adults and children) and Attendance Allowance . Paid straight into account you receive benefits.

  • Cost of Living Payment - £300 paid to those on low income benefit October/November 2023 (includes Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Income related ESA).  A further payment of £299 will be made in Spring 2024.

  • Household Support Fund - Support for vulnerable to cover essential daily costs like food and energy bills available from your local council.  Every council is different and the amount will vary from council to council. Support may be given in vouchers or a prepaid cash card.

  • The Scottish Government is offering Child Winter Heating Assistance for young people under 19 years in receipt of disability benefits.  It is an annual payment of £235.70 and will be paid automatically.

  • Alternative Fuel Payments - One-off payment of £200 to households not on the mains gas grid for example heating oil users.  Government has not confirmed the timing of this payment.

Government Schemes

Cold Weather Payment

The Cold Weather Payment is paid if you receive certain benefits.  This may include:

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

It is made when your local temperature is either recorded or forecast to be be an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.

This applies to the period 1st November to 31st March.

£25 is paid for each 7 day period.

You do not need to apply.  If you are eligible you will be paid automatically. 

If you live in Scotland you cannot get Cold Weather Payments.  Instead you may receive a £50 Winter Heating Payment.  This is not dependent on the weather.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The Warm Home Discount Scheme opens for Winter 2023/2024 on 16th October 2023.  It is a one-off discount on your electricity bill between October and April.

Exact details are to be announced but last winter's details were as follows:

There are two groups:

The Core Group

  • An energy supplier that is part of the scheme
  • Your name (or partner's name) on the bill
  • Receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit 

The Broader Group

  • Customers in vulnerable groups such as those on low income or on certain means tested benefits may also be able to apply.
  • Eligibility for these customers will vary between energy suppliers with some being more generous than others. 

The following suppliers are part in the scheme.  

  • Affect Energy (See Octopus)
  • Atlantic
  • Boost
  • British Gas
  • Bulb Energy
  • Co-operative Energy (See Octopus)
  • E (Gas and electric)
  • Ebico (Core group only)
  • Ecotricity (Core group only)
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON
  • GE UK (Green Energy UK - Core group only)
  • London Power
  • M&S Energy (See SSE)
  • Nabuh Energy
  • Octopus
  • Outfoxed the Market
  • OVO
  • Rebel
  • Sainsbury’s Energy (see British Gas)
  • Scottish Gas (see British Gas)
  • Scottish Hydro (see SSE)
  • ScottishPower
  • So Energy
  • Southern Electric (see SSE)
  • SSE
  • SWALEC (see SEE)
  • Utilita
  • Utility Warehouse 

Those who automatically qualify for the scheme should get a letter.  

If you don't get a letter and you think you qualify get in touch with the Warm Home Discount Scheme Telephone: 0800 731 0214

It is recommended that you check with your supplier as soon as possible.

The discount will not affect Cold Weather Payments or Winter Fuel Payments.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25th September 1957 you may be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment.

The payment is between £250 and £600 depending on your individual circumstances.  This includes a "Pensioner cost of Living Payment" of between £150 and £300 for the winter of 2023/24.

If you receive state pension or another social security benefit (but not housing benefit, Council Tax reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit) the payments will be made automatically.

If you do not receive a payment and you think you qualify you will need to make a claim for winter 2023/24 by 31st March 2024.

The Winter Fuel Payment does not affect other benefits and is tax free.

Company Schemes

Priority Services Register

Energy suppliers are obliged to offer a Priority Services Register to its vulnerable customers. This includes consumers who have a disability, a visual or hearing impairment, long term ill health or over pensionable age.

It provides free services such as priority reconnection after power cuts, regular meter readings if you’re unable to do it yourself, and bills provided in large print and Braille if required.

If you require electricity for essential medical equipment including electric beds and hoists the supplier has to give you advance notice of any disruption to your supply.

They may also provide annual as appliance safety checks for those who own their own home.

To find out about these services contact your existing energy supplier.


Auriga implement and deliver solutions to help reduce household financial hardship.

It manages funds for Seven Trent Water, United Utilities, Thames Water, NHS and local authorities.

Access is via their 'Ask Bill' website.  It provides free and impartial help on water, energy and debt.  Enter your postcode to find out what's available in your area.


Envo, an energy company have funding for free cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, loft insulation and boiler replacement.

It is open to those on low income, the fuel poor and vulnerable households.

Some of the criteria for qualifying under the scheme is the receipt of PIP/DLA or other similar type of support.

To apply complete the online form on the website.

Charis Grants

Charis administers charitable funds on behalf of a number of energy providers and local authorities.

They include:

  • BES Utilities
  • British Gas
  • EDF Energy
  • E.ON Energy Fund
  • nPower
  • Scottish Power
  • SSE
  • OVO
  • British Energy solutions
  • Utility Warehouse
  • Park Homes Warm Homes Discount (reopens September 2022)

Their schemes provide financial assistance towards paying for bills and other essential household items.

It also administers similar schemes for The Fuel Bank Foundation, Anglian Water and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Some of the application forms can be downloaded from the Charis website or you can request a form from their Request Line.  Telephone: 01733 421060 

To apply for support you usually have to be a current domestic account holder.

British Gas Energy Trust

The Trust supports families and individuals struggling to pay their bills and suffering from fuel poverty.

There are two grant schemes:

  • The British Gas Energy Support Fund - for customers in England, Scotland and Wales.  Must have between £250- £1,500 of debt and be facing fuel poverty.  Proof of income required.
  • Individuals and Families Fund - DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BRITISH GAS CUSTOMER TO APPLY.  Offers up to £1,500 to help pay off energy debt in England, Scotland and Wales.  Open to those with less than £1,000 in savings.  Proof of income required.

To apply: set up an account and use the online application form.

E.on Next Energy Fund

E.on are able to help their customers pay bills and replace old inefficient appliances.

Items include: cooker, fridge, fridge-freezer and washing machines.

Proof of household income and entitlement to benefits will be required.

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy provide financial support to its customers through the Octo Assistance Fund.

To apply for support complete the online form which will guide you through a series of questions.

It can offer direct bill support, home energy visits, lending thermal cameras to sport heat loss and the provision of free energy efficient electric bankets.

Scottish Power

Scottish Power operate a Hardship Fund to help customers who have difficulty paying their bills.

You need to be in receipt of certain benefits or have a low income.

Applications need to be made through a recognised Debt Advice agency. The scheme is administered by Social Enterprise Direct who will consider any applications.

Energy Information

Citizens Advice Comparison

Citizens Advice (England only) have a search and comparison tool of all gas and electricity suppliers.

You just need to add your postcode and a few questions about your energy use.

The Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust provides information on grants and energy saving tips for the whole of the UK.

Divided into the four regional areas you can undertake an on-line search to find out what help you can get to to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Their online tools and calculators are useful for ideas on how to use less energy and have lower energy bills.

Schemes and conditions vary around the country.

There is a Scottish Grants and Discounts Database that is straightforward to access.

Home Energy Scotland

Home Energy Scotland is a network of local advice centres covering all of Scotland. It is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Energy Saving Trust.

It's expert advisors offer free, impartial advice on energy saving, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, greener travel, cutting water waste and more.

Telephone FREE: 0800 808 2282 for help you cut your energy bills and stay warm this winter.

Or use the online contact form on the website.

It can direct you to grants, discounts and free insulation offers funded by the Scottish Government or energy companies in Scotland.

Each Local Authority in Scotland runs its own area based schemes to improve energy efficiency in local homes.

National Energy Action (NEA)

National Energy Action is a fuel poverty charity that works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  It works closely with its sister charity Energy Action Scotland.

It provides advice and support to people struggling with heating their homes either directly or through community outreach.

For help telephone:  0800 3047159 Monday to Friday 10am to 12 noon.

Northern Ireland Energy Advice

Northern Ireland Energy Advice is a free energy advice service.

Telephone: 0800 111 4455


It is able to offer information on energy efficiency grants and how to save energy.

Northern Ireland has a boiler Replacement Scheme for boilers over 15 years old with a household gross income of less than £40,000 a year.

It also offers an Affordable Warmth Scheme for householders with an income under £23,000 that is run by the local councils. The scheme provides home insulation, cavity wall insulation, boiler and window replacement.

Severn Wye

Severn Wye is a sustainability charity working across Wales and the English border counties.

It supports householders, communities and other organisations by promoting the efficient use of energy and the use of renewable sources.

The charity offer a freephone advice line, home visits and community advice on impartial home energy support.  This operates under "Warm and Well" in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.

There is also an Energy Advocate in Powys to help residents with their energy bills.

See also:

Grants for Household Items - Utilities

Help with Utility Bills - Contact (for families with a disabled child)

Check out the other pages…….

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