Financial help with fuel bills
Hear a podcast from two of our helpline advisers about how you can get help with fuel bills.
Our parent advisers have put together a list of schemes and grants to help you stay warm this winter.
The Warm Home Discount scheme
This scheme may lead to a rebate worth up to £135. To qualify you must fall into one of two groups.
- If you're a pensioner who receives the guarantee credit of pension credit, you will automatically be entitled to the rebate.
- Energy suppliers may also give a £135 discount to other customers in vulnerable groups (called the broader group).
Individual suppliers have their own criteria when applying the discount to households under the broader group. You should check with your supplier to see if you can get it. Visit the Warm Homes Discount scheme webpages for further information and links to your energy supplier's website.
Grants from charities (UK-wide)
Some charities provide grants for heating costs (or arrears) to families with a disabled child. Others provide grants for a range of general expenses. Some energy suppliers and water companies have schemes that help with gas, electricity and water arrears and other essential household costs. Call us for a list of grant-giving organisations and more on help from suppliers.
Cold weather payments (UK-wide)
If you are on an income-related benefit, such as:
- income support
- income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
- income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- you have a child under five in your family, or
- you have a child for whom you get child tax credit or income support with an extra amount for their disability, or
- you get an extra amount for disability or for being over state pension age and you don't live in a care home
you will receive an automatic payment if the average temperature recorded or forecast over seven days in a row in your local area is zero degrees Celsius (freezing) or less.
Community care grants
In England families on low income benefits will no longer be able to apply for a community care grant to help with one-off costs such as a bed or cooker. Crisis loans are also no longer available. Instead you now need to approach your local council for help.
Governments in Scotland and Wales have introduced their own respective schemes within their nations. For more information check GOV.UK's website
In Northern Ireland, details of the replacement scheme have yet to be finalised and therefore community care grants continue to be available. Visit the NI Direct website for more information.
Help from social services (UK-wide)
Social services in England, the social work department in Scotland, or the health and social services trust in Northern Ireland, may help with any problems related to fuel bills or fuel supply. In some situations, they can provide financial assistance to help a child. This could be a cash payment, a loan or payment in kind.
Check your benefits (UK-wide)
Check that you're not missing out on benefits. See our benefits webpages for more information or for a quick look at the main entitlements and sources of practical help. See our checklists of entitlement for parents and carers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you need further help or advice about help with bills contact the Home Heat helpline on 0800 336 699 (freephone).
You can also call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555.