Get help with energy bills
Advice about how to save energy and check if you can get a discount on your energy bills.
With gas prices rising, many people are worried about energy bills this winter.
Advice is available and it’s worth checking to see if you qualify for a discount.
Heating your home to at least 18°C (65°F) is important for your health and immune system. This is especially true if you are 65 or over, have reduced mobility, or have an existing health condition such as heart or lung disease.
If you’re eligible for benefits and are struggling to pay for food, fuel and other essential costs, you may be able to get extra help through the Local Discretionary Social Fund.
Support for households without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier
Households without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier can now apply for government support with their energy bills.
This support is for households who do not get the discount automatically, such as those who pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner, or live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid.
You can find out more and apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically on the gov.uk website. Anyone without online access can call the contact centre helpline on 0808 175 3287.
You can only make one application per household.
Apply for alternative fuel bill support if you do not get it automatically
Most households in England, Scotland or Wales will automatically get a £200 Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) if they use alternative fuels for most of their heating, such as liquid petroleum gas (LPG), oil or solid fuel, and are connected to the electricity grid.
If you do not get it automatically, you can apply for £200 support to help pay for alternative fuels on the gov.uk website. You can only make one application per household.
Energy Bills Support Scheme
Households received a £400 discount on their energy bills over the winter.
This discount was applied over 6 months, starting in October 2022. Households received an automatic discount of £66 on their energy bills in October and November, rising to £67 each month from December to March 2023.
If you have a domestic electricity meter and pay for your energy by standard credit, payment card or direct debit, you will have received an automatic discount. This will be on your bills over the 6 month period, and total £400.
If you have a Prepayment meter, you received energy bill discount vouchers from the first week of each month from October 2022 to March 2023. These were sent by SMS text message, email or post, using your registered contact details.
The government’s Help for Households website has information on a wide range of information from energy bills to finding work. You can also visit Ofgem’s website for the latest energy advice, support and information.
Energy Price Guarantee
The Energy Price Guarantee reduces the cost of electricity and gas for 6 months from 1 October 2022. This is so that a typical household will pay around £2,500 a year on their energy bill. The Energy Price Guarantee limits the amount you can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. Your bill will still depend on how much energy you use and may be more than £2,500 a year.
You do not need to apply for the Energy Price Guarantee and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.
The discount is automatic. If you get a message telling you that you need to apply, or asking for your bank or credit card details, this could be a scam. You can report messages you think are suspicious.
Warm Home Discount
You could get £150 off your electricity bill this winter with the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October 2022 and March 2023.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity and you’re eligible. Contact your supplier to find out.
To find out more about the Warm Home Discount, visit the gov.uk website or call 0800 731 0214.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
The amount you’ll get includes a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’. This is between £150 and £300. You’ll only get this extra amount in winter 2022 to 2023. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits.
You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically (you do not need to claim) if you’re eligible and either:
- get the State Pension
- get another social security benefit (not including Adult Disability Payment from the Scottish Government, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit)
If you do not get either of these, or if you live abroad, you may need to make a claim for a Winter Fuel Payment. The deadline for you to make a claim for winter 2022 to 2023 is 31 March 2023.
To find out more, visit the gov.uk website or call 0800 731 0160.
Cold Weather Payments
You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.
You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days. You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. You’ll be able to check if your area is due a payment from November 2022.
You do not need to apply. If you’re eligible to get a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically. Visit the gov.uk website to find out if you qualify.
(Cold Weather Payments are different to Winter Fuel Payments)
Advice and information – Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP)
LEAP is a free service that is helping people keep warm and reduce their energy bills without costing them any money.
LEAP works in partnership with the council and has helped lots of people in Brighton & Hove reduce their energy bills. Advisors can:
- give practical advice on heating systems and saving energy
- fit free energy saving kit in your home (such as lightbulbs and draught-proofing)
- check if you are eligible for insulation or a new boiler
- arrange a free, confidential money advice telephone call to help with benefits, debt and other money problems.
To book a free energy advice phone call or home visit:
- phone 0800 060 7567
- visit the LEAP website
You can find more information on support available with energy bills on gov.uk.