We can all find ourselves in need of a helping hand when it comes to paying our energy bills. There are many resources out there to help with financial support in paying your energy bills. Whether that be from your supplier directly or the government. You just need to reach out to them! This article explains what type of help is out there and how you can get it.
This article covers:
The government has many schemes in place to which you can apply for if you meet the required criteria. Listed below are some of them.
*Bear in mind that these schemes are updated regularly so please check the websites directly for the most accurate and up to date information!
Winter Fuel Payment: Between £250 and £600
- Eligible for those born on or before 25 September 1957.
- You should receive this automatically, if not, you can make a claim through the following link - Winter Fuel Payment: Check if you need to claim.
- To help with paying your heating bills.
- Available during the winter period.
Government website: Winter Fuel Payment: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Cold Weather Payment: £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
- Eligible if you receive certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.
- You should receive this automatically if eligible.
- Applicable if the average temperature in your area is recorded or forecast to be zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days.
Government website: Cold Weather Payment: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Warm Home Discount: £150 discount off electricity bill between October and March
- One-off discount in your electricity bill during the Winter period (you may also be able to receive the discount for gas instead if you have dual fuel - just contact your supplier for details).
- Eligible if you receive the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit or are on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme.
Government website: Warm Home Discount Scheme: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Child Winter Heating Payment (Scotland Only): Annual Payment of £235.70
- Support for disabled children and young people and their families specifically, with increased heating costs over winter.
- To qualify you must be under 19 years old and receive one of the qualifying benefits listed on the government website.
Government website: Child Winter Heating Assistance - mygov.scot.
Fuel Direct Scheme: Debt Payment Support towards your bills
- If you are struggling with paying bills or debts off, you can have some of your bills paid directly out of certain benefit payments.
- To apply, contact Jobcentre Plus, (or the Pension Service if you’re on Pension Credit).
Government website: Help paying bills using your benefits - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299
- Eligible for this payment to help with the cost of living if you’re receiving certain benefits or tax credits.
- No need to apply and you will be paid automatically.
- Payment dates for the year of 2023/2024 can be found on the link below.
Money Advisor Network:
- Money Helper have a network providing support and debt advice for your energy bills, free of charge with no affect on your credit score.
- Always confidential and independent.
Direct website: Money Advice Network - Money Helper
Charity and not-for-profit support
There are also third party non-profit organisations and charities that are on call to offer free advice and support. To get help if you cannot afford to heat your home and for a wide range of support options for your energy bills, the best place to go is The National Fuel Poverty Charity Get Help - National Energy Action (NEA).
More of the main organisations include:
Telephone: 0808 223 1133
Website: Your energy supply - Citizens Advice
|A non-profit organisation offering free and quality legal energy advice for any needs you might face as a citizen.
Telephone: 0808 223 4188
|A charity taking care of providing debt guidance for your energy, always with confidentiality - no matter your circumstance.
Telephone: 0808 138 1111
|Provides debt advice for your utility bills. They work alongside mental health experts who can provide support if your bills are having a significant impact on your wellbeing.
All energy companies have several resources in place to help their customers financially. Their support ranges from payment plans to funds and dedicated teams who provide advice on how best to handle your utility bills. As the company who charges you for your energy, they can be a great help in discussing your account and making the payments less daunting.
Each company is different, so get in touch with them to find out how they can help you. You can contact them by email using your Switchd dashboard or by giving them a call. They will usually have the contact details of their finance support departments in the bottom of their emails.