If you are struggling to heat your home or afford your gas or electricity bills you could be eligible for help. Here we explain where you can get home heating advice and outline some of the energy bill rebates and government schemes, like free boiler and home insulation support, you could access.
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 November 1953. This is known as the Winter Fuel Payment. Most payments are made automatically between November and December each year.
Who is eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment?
You should get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you:
- get the State Pension
- another social security benefit (excluding Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
If you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to make a claim. Any money you get won’t affect your other benefits.
For more information on the Winter Fuel Payment call the Winter Fuel Payment Centre. Their helplines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
- Telephone: 03459 15 15 15
- Textphone: 0345 606 0285
- Email enquiry form
You can also find out more about the payment on GOV.UK: Winter Fuel Payment (opens another website)
Warm Home Discount scheme
You could be eligible to get a rebate of £140 each year on your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount government scheme.
Who is eligible for the Warm Home Discount?
You may be eligible through either the 'core' or 'broader' group.
You'll be eligible for the scheme under the 'core group' if you get:
- the Pension Credit Guarantee Credit only, or
- the Pension Credit Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
If you are eligible for the core group you will be automatically identified through a data matching exercise with the Department for Work and Pensions. You will get a letter from HM Government to confirm this and will get the rebate by the end of March of the relevant year.
In a few cases, you may get a letter asking you to confirm your eligibility. If you want to get the rebate you should provide your supplier with the requested information.
Suppliers set the eligibility criteria for the broader group. The criteria may vary between suppliers.
In the first instance you should contact your electricity supplier to determine if you meet their specific eligibility criteria.
If you apply and are accepted to the broader group by your supplier you will get the rebate at the end of March of the relevant year.
Suppliers can offer the discount to other vulnerable people, such as those on a low income, and can also help customers in other ways, for instance by providing energy advice or offering debt relief.
Not all suppliers are part of the Warm Home Discount scheme, so you should contact your supplier to find out if they can help you.
If you are a prepayment customer, suppliers will have arrangements in place for you to receive the rebate. You will get a letter from your supplier detailing that the rebate has been received as part of the Warm Home Discount.
If you don't qualify for either of these groups you should ask your supplier what other help may be available to you. They may provide other support outside of the scheme.
If you switch supplier
If you switch supplier before you get the rebate, you'll need to apply again for the Warm Home Discount with your new supplier. You should check if your new supplier is part of the scheme. If you get the discount automatically though the 'core' group, you won't need to reapply.
If you think you are eligible for the 'core' group rebate, but have not received a letter from HM Government, please contact your electricity supplier to ensure your name and address details are correct.
If you think you may be eligible for a 'broader' group rebate, please contact your electricity supplier directly for advice.
For more information:
- See GOV.UK for a list of suppliers offering the Warm Home Discount (opens another website)
- contact the Warm Home Discount scheme helpline on 0345 603 9439 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Energy Company Obligation
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty.
Under the scheme, larger energy suppliers have to deliver energy efficiency measures to homes in Great Britain.
New or replacement boilers and home insulation
The Carbon Saving Community Obligation requires energy suppliers to help those living in low income areas to insulate their homes. Energy suppliers are also required to help residents in rural areas through this part of ECO.
The Affordable Warmth Obligation (also known as the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation) supports private householders who receive certain State Benefits and want to make their homes more energy efficient.
This might include:
- the replacement of old, inefficient and faulty central heating boilers with new energy efficient boilers
- installing cavity wall insulation, loft insulation or solid wall insulation.
- See our section on the Energy Company Obligation or contact our operational team at ECO@ofgem.gov.uk.
- Use the Energy Grants Calculator on GOV.UK
Get further home heat advice
You can get further advice and support on heating your home from the:
- Energy Saving Advice Service (opens another website)
- Home Energy Scotland (opens another website) - in Scotland
- Nest home heat programme (opens another website) - in Wales
- Citizens Advice consumer helpline (opens another website)