Get help if you cannot afford your energy bills

Find out where to get help if you’re worried about paying your electricity or gas bills.

If you’re struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty, you can get help from:

  • your energy supplier
  • the UK government, and the governments in Scotland and Wales
  • a range of charities, including Citizens Advice

Help from your energy supplier

Contact your supplier as soon as you can if you’re worried about paying your bills.

Ofgem’s rules mean they must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford.

You can also ask them for:

  • a review of your current payments and debt repayments
  • payment breaks or reductions
  • more time to pay
  • access to hardship funds
  • advice on how to use less energy

If you cannot agree on a way to pay, follow the steps on our complain about your energy supplier page.

Joining a Priority Services Register

All suppliers have a Priority Service Register.

This is a list of customers who may need extra help, either all the time or due to something that’s happened in their lives.

Find out if joining this list is right for you.

Supplier schemes and grants

Contact your supplier to find out about any schemes or grants they offer to help with energy costs, pay off energy debt, or make energy-saving improvements to your home.

You can contact them online, in writing or by phone. Details on how to do this should be on their website or on your energy bills.

If you are not sure who to contact, follow the instructions on our find your energy supplier page.

Citizens Advice has a list of grants offered by some larger suppliers.

Help from government

The UK government offers a range of support options for people struggling with their bills.

Check if you can get:

  • Winter Fuel Payment (between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills)
  • Cold Weather Payment (£25 for each 7-day period of very cold weather between November and March each year)
  • Warm Home Discount (a one-off £150 discount off your electricity bill)
  • The Fuel Direct Scheme can help if you plan to repay a debt to a supplier from benefit payments. Contact your supplier directly to find out more, or to apply

You can also get help with rising energy costs from your local council.

If you live in Scotland, you may be able to get Child Winter Heating Payment. This payment helps disabled children and young people and their families with increased heating costs over winter.

Government help dealing with debt

If you are worried about debt, you can visit MoneyHelper, a government-backed service offering advice on money issues.

If you live in England or Wales, you can apply for Breathing Space (also called the Debt Respite Scheme). This is a temporary protection period, to give you time to get debt advice and set up a solution. It means that for up to 60 days:

  • your creditors (the people you owe money to) will have to stop trying to collect your debt
  • your creditors will have to freeze most interest, fees and charges on your debt
  • your energy supplier cannot install a prepayment meter without your permission, and cannot collect any debt using your prepayment meter

If you live in Scotland, you can apply for a debt moratorium. During this temporary protection period, your creditors will not be able to take any action to recover what you owe them.

Help from charities

A range of charities throughout the England, Scotland and Wales offer advice and support for people struggling with energy bills.

We’ve listed some of these below. You should also check your local council’s website for help available in your area.

If you’re not sure who to contact, use the UK government’s local council search tool.

If you’re living with a disability

Scope offers advice for people living with a disability in England and Wales, including on subjects like paying your energy bills, and dealing with suppliers and network operators.

Visit the Scope website or call 0808 800 3333.

If you live in Scotland, you can visit the Disability Information Scotland website for advice, or call 0300 323 9961.

If you’re living with a mental health condition

If you’re living with a mental health condition and money worries, you’ll find clear, practical advice on the Mental Health and Money Worries website. This is a UK-wide, online-only service.

You can also get information and support from other charities based on where you live. For example:

Fuel Bank Foundation

If you are struggling to top up your prepayment meter, the Fuel Bank Foundation provides fuel vouchers you can use to add credit to your gas card or electricity key.

For more information on getting a voucher, visit the Citizen’s Advice website.

Citizens Advice

If you’re not sure about your options or need more support, contact Citizens Advice. How you do this depends on where you live.

In England, you should visit the Citizens Advice website or call 0808 223 1133.

In Scotland, you should visit the Advice Direct Scotland website or call 0808 196 8660.

In Wales, you should visit the Advicelink Cymru website or call 0800 702 2020.


Get information on debt and how to deal with it on the StepChange website, or call 0800 138 1111.

StepChange can also offer to help with Breathing Space applications.

National Debtline

Get free, impartial advice to help you take control of your debt.

Visit the National Debtline website or call 0808 808 4000 to find out more about how their experts can help you.


Charis handles grants for people struggling with energy bills on behalf of some charities and energy suppliers.

Visit the Charis website for details of these grants, and to find out if you can apply.


Turn2us is a national charity offering information and practical help to people facing financial insecurity.

Use this benefits calculator and grants search tool to help you find out what support you can get.

Reducing your bills by saving energy

Using less energy and making your home more energy efficient can help bring down your bills.

For some suggestions on how you can do this, see our list of actions for saving energy.