Help With Your Gas & Electricity Bills

MoneyHelper

Not being able to afford to heat or power your home can be very worrying and stressful. It’s important to continue paying these bills and there's help available from your supplier if you’re struggling before you get into debt. Get in touch before you miss a payment and find out how they can help you as well as other ways to get back on track.

What help can my supplier give me to keep up with energy payments?

If you’re worried about missing gas or electricity payments, contact your supplier first. Your supplier has to work with you to agree a payment plan that suits you.

These include things like:

  • reviewing your bill and agreeing more affordable payments
  • giving you a payment break
  •  reducing how much you pay to give you a chance to catch up
  •  giving you longer to repay what you owe
  • access to charitable grants or hardship funds.

Support with energy supply and bills if you’re vulnerable

Your gas or energy supplier must give you extra support if you’re vulnerable. For example, if you:

  •  have a disability or long-term health condition
  •  have mental health needs
  •  have hearing or sight loss
  •  are pregnant or have children under the age of five
  • are recovering from an injury or just released from hospital
  • don't speak or read English well or have other communication needs
  • have reached State Pension age.

There could be other reasons why you might be vulnerable, so if you’re not sure you can ask your supplier. It’s a good idea to sign up to your supplier and network operator’s Priority Services register who look after your gas supply.

Check if you’re entitled to extra government help

Warm Home Discount Scheme

A Warm Home Discount can give you £150 off your electricity bills each year. If you’re on a low income and getting certain means-tested benefits – including Universal Credit – you might be entitled to it.

The discount can also be used for gas bills instead of electricity depending on your energy provider. Talk to your supplier to find out.

If you don’t qualify for the discount with your supplier, see if you can switch to one where you do. Applications for the Warm Home Discount usually start in October.

Cold Weather Payment

If the weather gets really cold and you already get some benefits, you might qualify for cold-weather payments worth £25.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you’ve reached state pension age you should also qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300. This should be paid to you automatically.

Local help to pay energy bills

If you’re going without gas or electricity, your local welfare scheme might help with top-up vouchers. 

Some foodbanks also give out voucher top ups if you’re on a pre-payment meter. You’ll need to be referred to a food bank first.

 You can also get referrals to foodbanks through your local council and other organisations including:

  • local advice centres
  • your GP
  • support workers
  • police.

Local welfare help is given on a case-by-case basis.

For further information on all of the help available, please click here.

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