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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 2022. (Updated 29.11.2022)
The information will be subject to change with further Government announcements.
The Cold Weather Payment is paid if you receive certain benefits. This may include:
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.
Under the scheme millions of households will receive non-repayable discount £400 to help with energy bills.
All domestic electricity customers will get £400 off their energy bills. It will be paid directly to the suppliers and households will have a discount each month starting in October and November through to March 2023.
Direct debit customers will receive the discount automatically with a reduction in their direct debit.
Smart Prepayment customers will have the discount credited to their smart meters. Traditional prepayment meter customers will be issued with vouchers redeemable at their usual top-up point.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off discount of £140 on your electricity bill between October and April
This has finished for winter 2021/22. Will reopen in November 2022.
There are two groups:
The Core Group
The Broader Group
The following suppliers are part in the scheme.
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.
If you were born on or before 25th September 1956 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 2022/23.
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 2022/23 by 31st March 2023.
The Winter Fuel Payment does not affect other benefits and is tax free.
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 administers charitable funds on behalf of a number of energy providers and local authorities.
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.
The Trust supports families and individuals struggling to pay their bills and suffering from fuel poverty.
There are two grant schemes:
To apply: set up an account and use the online application form.
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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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.
Grants for Household Items - Utilities
Help with Utility Bills - Contact (for families with a disabled child)