Help with gas and electric bills

Ofgem has advice on steps to take if your energy supplier goes out of business.

Grants to pay off energy debts

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

Most suppliers expect you to get debt advice from a charity first.

Citizens Advice have more information on grants to deal with energy debts.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You could qualify for this scheme if you have a low income.

You can get £140 off your electricity costs if your energy supplier offers 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 will get the discount some point between October and March if you qualify.

If you get pension credit guarantee

You qualify if you or your partner:

  • are named on the electric bill

  • were getting pension credit guarantee on 4 July 2021

If your supplier offers the scheme, you should have had a letter from them by the end of December 2021. The letter explains how and when you get your discount.

Contact the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214 if you think you should qualify but have not had your letter or discount.

If you have a low income or get benefits

You may qualify if you have a low income and meet extra conditions.

For example:

  • you have a child under the age of 5

  • you get disability premiums or elements as part of your benefit

Different energy suppliers may have different qualifying rules.

You must apply to get your discount. Some schemes have already closed for this winter.

Find your energy supplier's website on GOV.UK to check if you can still apply.

Winter fuel payments

The winter fuel payment is a grant of £100 to £300 to help older people with energy bills in winter. To qualify for the payment, you must have been born on or before 5 November 1953.

How much you get depends on your age, if you receive certain benefits and if you live alone or with others.

Visit GOV.UK to find out if you qualify.

Cold weather payments

You could get a cold weather payment of £35 if the average temperature is recorded as or forecast to be below freezing for at least a week.

The qualifying rules depend on which benefit you get.

Cold weather payments are made automatically if you qualify. You don't have to apply.

Check GOV.UK to see if a cold weather payment is due for your area.

Switch energy supplier

You can sometimes save money by changing to a better deal with a different supplier.

At the moment there are not many cheap deals available and there are other things to think about before you switch.

Find out more from Citizens Advice before switching energy suppliers.

If you rent your home, you won't need your landlord's permission to switch unless they pay your energy bills. But you should let them know who the new supplier is when you move out.

Last updated: 18 January 2022

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