Help with high energy bills
If you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty, contact your supplier. We know the 1 April Energy Price Cap rise caused by global energy factors will be extremely worrying for many people. We are working round the clock to make sure consumers pay no more than is necessary and are supported by suppliers in any way possible.
Our rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford and you can ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter and can’t top up. Most have also signed up to fresh commitments drawn up with Ofgem and the industry trade body Energy UK to support you this winter.
The government has also announced a package of support to help households with rising energy costs.
Charis has a grants and benefits eligibility checker and can support you through application processes.
Government schemes and benefits
Many government schemes support free or subsidised energy-saving measures. These aim to help vulnerable people and encourage energy efficiency in our homes. Some schemes are provided directly through your supplier.
Check if you qualify for the government’s:
- Winter Fuel Payment – a £100 to £300 fuel payment for people born on or before 5 October 1954.
Winter fuel support scheme – a £200 annual payment for Welsh households in receipt of certain benefits.
Cold Weather Payment – a £25 payment for every 7 days of very cold weather between November and March.
- Warm Home Discount – a £150 discount for some people getting Pension Credit or some people in low-income household.
- Household Support Fund – a funding package to help vulnerable households this winter. Contact your local council for advice and help on accessing the fund.
Child Winter Heating Assistance – a £202 annual payment per disabled child and young person under 19 living in Scotland.
- In England, Wales and Scotland, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal.
- In Wales, Nest.
- In Scotland, the Home Energy Efficiency Programme Scotland (HEEPS).
See if you can get paid to generate your own renewable power and heat through the:
Grants and services from energy suppliers
Many energy companies offer schemes or grants to help with home heating and energy costs. Some are open to anyone – you don’t need to be a customer.
Contact your supplier to find out what they offer.
Citizens Advice lists grants some larger suppliers offer.
Ask about being put on your supplier’s Priority Services Register. This is a free energy support service if you are vulnerable.
Grants from charities
Home energy check
Use the Simple Energy Advice website to explore ways to save on energy such as through:
- home insulation
- boiler upgrades
- using more green energy, like solar power.
Use their Energy Efficiency Calculator for personalised energy saving advice for your building and in your area.
The Energy Savings Trust also offer Community Home Energy Checks in England and Wales.
Then look at home energy grants that may be able to pay for improvements.
Tips to avoid wasting energy
- Use a timer on your central heating system. Set the heating and hot water to come on only when required.
- If you have a hot water tank, set the cylinder thermostat to 60oC (140oF).
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat from escaping through the windows. Check for draughts too.
- Always turn off the light when you leave a room.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby or laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
- When washing up, washing or drying by machine, try to fully load the appliance. One full load uses less energy than two half loads.
- Try to only boil the water you need.
- Turn taps off properly. In a single week, a dripping hot tap can waste enough hot water to fill half a bath.
- Dry your clothes outside during nice weather.
- Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat.
- For textphone, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number.
In Scotland, Advice Direct Scotland can help: