Support during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Energy suppliers won’t disconnect your gas or electric if you miss a payment right now. Ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter if you can’t top up. Our rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford.
Call your supplier if you are worried. They have agreed emergency measures with the government during the pandemic. Most have also signed up to fresh commitments drawn up with Ofgem and the industry trade body Energy UK to support you this winter.
Let's Talk has a benefits eligibility checker. It includes benefits advice if you’re affected by coronavirus.
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.
- Cold Weather Payment – a £25 payment for every 7 days of very cold weather between November and March.
- Warm Home Discount – a £140 discount for some people getting Pension Credit or some people in low-income households.
- Household Support Fund - a funding package to help vulnerable households this winter. Contact your local council for advice and help on accessing the fund.
- 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: