Help with energy costs

If you’re finding it hard to pay your energy bills, you may be eligible to apply for certain grants or discount schemes to help you with energy costs.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You can get a discount on your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The discount won’t affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.

Do I qualify?

You’ll qualify for the discount if all of the following apply:

  • your supplier was part of the scheme
  • your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill
  • you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit).

If you qualify for the discount, you’ll get a letter this autumn/winter telling you either:

  • you don’t have to apply – you’ll get the discount automatically
  • you must apply by the deadline – the letter will tell you why and how

If you haven’t received your letter by 24 December but believe you qualify, write to: Warm Home Discount Team, Pink Zone, 1st Floor, Peel Park, Brunel Way, Blackpool FY4 5ES

Energy suppliers

The following suppliers are part of the scheme: AtlanticBritish GasCo-operative energyEDF EnergyE.ONEquipower (Ebico)Equigas (Ebico)First Utility, Manweb – see ScottishPowerM&S EnergyNpowerSainsbury’s Energy, Scottish Gas (see British Gas), Scottish Hydo, ScottishPowerSouthern ElectricSSESWALEC and Utility Warehouse.

Winter Fuel Payment

You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 July 1952. Most payments are made automatically between November and December, and you should get your money by Christmas.

You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

You’ll qualify if:

  • you were born on or before 5 July 1952 (for winter 2014 to 2015 – this date changes every year)
  • you’ll be living in the UK throughout the week of 15 to 21 September 2014

You need to make a claim for Winter Fuel Payment if you have not had it before and either of the following apply:

  • you don’t get benefits or a State Pension
  • you only get Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit

Company specific schemes

Some energy companies have schemes to help people who are elderly or disabled. Please contact your provider to find out what’s available.

Here are examples of some schemes:

  • British Gas: call the priority services register on 0800 072 8625
  • Npower: schemes include fuel direct scheme, warm response service, health through warmth, Npower energy fund. For more detail call 0800 073 3000 (from a landline) or 0330 100 3000 (from a mobile)
  • EDF: call the priority services register on 0800 269 450
  • E.ON: call the home heat energy helpline on 0800 336 699
  • SSE: call the home heat helpline on 0800 336 699
  • Scottish Power: ask about help for vulnerable customers or help with energy bills. Call 0800 027 0072 (from a landline) or 0345 2700 700 (from a mobile)

Company specific trusts

Here are some of the companies who run their own trusts:

  • British Gas Energy Trust: call 01733 421060
  • EDF Energy Trust: call 01733 421060
  • Npower Energy Fund: call 01733 421020
  • Scottish Power Energy Fund: call 0141 614 4480
  • E.ON Energy Caring Fund: call 0800 051 1480
  • Thames Water Trust Fund: call 0845 456 6863