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.
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.
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:
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?
Get expert advice on money and debts:
Citizens Advice explain what to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.
StepChange give advice on dealing with debts for gas and electricity.
Money Saving Expert offers tips to reduce energy costs.
Find out about utility bills and your rights if you're renting privately.
Last updated: 3 May 2022