Financial help with fuel bills

The Warm Home Discount scheme

This scheme may lead to a rebate worth up to £140. The scheme applies in England, Scotland and Wales only and is offered on a first-come-first-served basis.

You will qualify if your energy provider is part of the scheme and:

  • you're a pensioner who receives the guarantee credit of pension credit
  • you fall into the 'broader group' of people that your energy supplier gives the discount to.

Find out whether you might be part of this broader group.

For you to be eligible to claim, you or your partner's name must be on your energy bills and your supplier must take part in the scheme. The Gov.UK website lists all the firms that currently participate.

The discount is not paid to you - instead the £140 is deducted from your electricity bill.

Cold weather payments (UK-wide)

You may qualify for cold weather payments 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)
  • Universal Credit

and you have any of the following:

  • a child under five in your family
  • a child for whom you get child tax credits or income support with an extra amount for their disability

or you receive:

  • an extra amount for your own 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. You do not have to do anything to receive the payment. You can use the government's Cold Weather Payment tool to find out if your area is due to receive a payment.

The Watersure scheme

In England and Scotland, help with water bills may be available under the Watersure scheme. If you are a customer of Welsh Water you may qualify for help under the Welsh Water Assist scheme.

These schemes cap your water bill so you won't pay more than the average metered bill for the area your water company covers. To qualify you must:

  • be on certain benefits
  • have a water meter (or be waiting for one to be installed)
  • have a high essential use of water (this means you have three or more children under 19 in full-time education, or a child with a medical condition or disability that requires your household to use a lot of water).

Children who have certain conditions may automatically qualify under these schemes. Contact your water company directly to find out more and to apply. Your supplier may also offer additional help for customers struggling to pay their bills.

Community care grants

Families on low income benefits in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may be eligible for grants to help them live independently in the community.

Families in Scotland can apply to their local authority for a grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund for one-off costs, such as a bed or cooker. Apply directly to your local council.

Families in Wales can apply for a grant from the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF), which gives payments to support vulnerable people to remain living independently. To apply, call the DAF on 0800 859 5924 or apply for a DAF grant online.

Families in Northern Ireland can apply for a Community Care grant to support you in times of extreme pressure. To find our more and apply, visit the Community Care Northern Ireland webpage. Once completed, return it to your Social Security or Jobs & Benefits office.

Other sources of financial help

Social services departments may help with problems related to fuel bills or fuel supply or provide financial assistance to help a child. This could be a cash payment, a loan or payment in kind.

Some charities provide grants for heating costs, expenses or arrears to families with a disabled child. Our helpline can give you a list of grant-giving organisations.

Check that you're not missing out on benefits. See our benefits webpages for more information about main entitlements and sources of practical help. See our checklists of entitlement, Money Matters [PDF], for parents are carers in England, Scotland and Wales.

Related information