Help with energy bills

Grants to pay energy debts

If you're struggling to pay a gas or electric bill, you could get a grant from your supplier's hardship fund or energy trust.

Citizens Advice has more on grants to deal with energy debts.

Cheaper tariffs

You can sometimes get a cheaper energy tariff if you claim benefits or are on a low income. But there are not many of these schemes available at the moment.

Ask your supplier directly if they have a 'social tariff'.

Change from prepayment to a credit meter

You can ask your supplier to switch to a credit meter if you think it's a better choice for you.

Citizens Advice explains how to change your meter and when it makes sense to do so.

You do not need your landlord's permission to switch from a prepayment meter to a credit meter. You may have to change the meter back to a prepayment meter before you move out.

Council tax rebate

There is a council tax rebate of £150 in 2022 for most people in bands A to D.

This can be used to help with rising energy costs.

If you pay your council tax by direct debit, your council will pay the rebate into your bank account from April 2022.

If you do not pay by direct debit, your council will contact you to arrange a way to pay before September 2022.

GOV.UK has more on the council tax rebate.

If you cannot get the council tax rebate

The government has given councils extra money to help people who do not pay council tax or are in bands E to H.

Contact your council to see if you can get this help and find out how to apply.

Warm home discount scheme

You could get help from this scheme if you have a low income.

You can get £140 off your electricity costs if your energy supplier has the scheme.

It's not a cash payment and does not affect your benefits.

The discount can be:

  • applied to your bill

  • given as a prepayment voucher

You get the discount between October and March.

If you get pension credit guarantee

You get the discount if you or your partner:

  • are named on the electric bill

  • were getting pension credit guarantee on 4 July 2021

If you have a low income or get benefits

You may get the discount if you have a low income and meet extra conditions.

For example, you:

  • have a child under the age of 5

  • get disability premiums or elements as part of your benefit

Different energy suppliers may have different rules.

You need to apply to get the warm home discount.

Find your energy supplier on GOV.UK for details and deadlines.

Winter fuel payments

The winter fuel payment is a grant of £100 to £300 to help older people with winter energy bills. You must have been born on or before 26 September 1955.

How much you get depends on:

  • your age

  • what benefits you get

  • if you live alone or with others

GOV.UK explains winter fuel payments.

Cold weather payments

You could get a cold weather payment of £25 if the average temperature is recorded or forecast to be below freezing for at least a week.

You can get cold weather payments if you receive some benefits.

Cold weather payments are made automatically. You do not have to apply.

Check GOV.UK to see if there will be a cold weather payment in your area.

Energy company obligation

You may be able to get help with work on your home to improve insulation and heating to reduce your bills.

You could get this help under the warm home discount scheme or if you receive some benefits and have a low income.

Ofgem has more details about how to get help through the energy company obligation scheme.

Switch energy supplier

You're unlikely to save money by changing to a different supplier right now.

Citizens Advice explains things to think about before switching energy suppliers.

You do not need your landlord's permission to switch unless they pay your energy bills.

Let them know who the new supplier is when you move out.

Still need help?

You can get emergency grants, loans and money help if your situation is urgent.

This could help with household bills like council tax, water and broadband.

Get expert advice on money and debts:

Find out about utility bills and your rights if you're renting privately.

Last updated: 3 May 2022

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