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Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills

This advice applies to England

You can get help if you’re struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter. You might be able to take advantage of certain benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers.

Get money back if you pay council tax 

You can get £150 back from the council to help pay your energy bills - this is called a ‘rebate’. 

You’ll get the rebate if you pay council tax and your home is in council tax bands A to D. You can find your band on your council tax bill or check your council tax band on GOV.UK

You’ll only get the rebate if you’re the person who has to pay council tax for your household. Only one person per household will get the rebate.

You’ll get the rebate even if you:

  • get a Council Tax Reduction, including a full reduction, and your home is in bands A to D 
  • get the Disabled Band Reduction discount and your home is in bands A to E

  • are subject to immigration control and your biometric residence permit says "no recourse to public funds"

If you get benefits, the rebate won’t affect them.

If you can’t get the rebate, the council might still offer you financial help. For example, they might help you if you're in council tax bands E to H and you get certain benefits. Contact your local council to see if they can help you - find your local council on GOV.UK.

How you’ll get the rebate

If you set up a direct debit to pay your council tax before the end of March 2022, your council should pay you automatically. Local councils will start to make the payments directly into bank accounts in April 2022.

If you don’t pay by direct debit or didn’t set up a direct debit before the end of March 2022, you should still get a rebate.

Your local council will contact you - they’ll probably ask you to complete an online form.

After you’ve given the council your details, they’ll make the payment as soon as possible. 

If you don't hear from your council, contact them to check how you can claim the rebate. You should contact them before 30 September 2022 when the scheme closes. Find your local council on GOV.UK.

Check who you’re giving your bank details to

Your council might need your bank details so they can pay you. 

Your council won’t ask you to:

  • make any payments yourself 

  • give them any passwords - for example, one time passwords to log into online banking

  • give them any pin numbers

Scams can be difficult to spot - check if something might be a scam. If you're not sure it's your local council contacting you, ask the council about the rebate yourself. Find your local council's contact details on GOV.UK.

If your bank account is overdrawn

You can ask your bank to use this £150 rebate to pay your energy bills instead of paying off your overdraft. This is known as ‘exercising your first right of appropriation’. You can check how to exercise your first right of appropriation on National Debtline.

Get a one-off payment from the government

The government will give every household in Great Britain £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back. The £400 will be automatically added to your energy account over 6 months starting from October 2022. If you have a prepayment meter, the £400 will be added to your meter or you’ll be given vouchers - the government will confirm how you'll get the money nearer the time.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You might be able to get £150 off your electricity bill or £150 added to your prepayment meter. 

You don’t need to apply. If you’re eligible for the scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send you a letter later this year.

We’ll update our advice when the government announce more information about the scheme.

If you’re on a low income and struggling with living costs, there are also other things you can do. Check if you can increase your income.

Check if you can get a fuel voucher

You might be able to get a voucher to help pay for your energy. You might be able to get a voucher to help pay for your energy if either:

  • you use a prepayment meter

  • you don't use gas or electricity for your heating

If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter

You might be able to get a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter or in a text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one. 

Your local council might be able to help you get a fuel voucher - find your local council on GOV.UK. If you’re still not sure if you can get a voucher, get help from an adviser.

You can use a fuel voucher at:

To use your voucher you’ll need to take:

  • the code and instructions

  • some form of ID - for example, your passport or a bill with your name and address

You must use your fuel voucher within 3 months after you get it.

If you have problems using your voucher, contact the organisation that gave it to you - you should be able to find their contact information on the instructions.

If you don’t use gas or electricity for your heating

You might be able to get a fuel voucher if you:

  • rely on oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal or wood as your main source of heating
  • aren’t on the gas grid 

You’ll need to show that you can't heat your home because you can't afford to buy fuel - or you might not be able to afford it soon. 

Talk to an adviser if you need a voucher. Your local Citizens Advice will need to apply for you.

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter.

You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born on or before 26 September 1955.

This year you’ll automatically get an extra £300 with your usual Winter Fuel Payment. You’ll get the payment in either November or December.

You should start getting the Winter Fuel Payment automatically once you reach State Pension age, but sometimes you might need to apply. You can find out how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment on GOV.UK.

Cold Weather Payments

Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold.

You’ll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time.

You’ll only be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you already get:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • support for mortgage interest

If you're eligible, you'll get paid automatically. Find out more about Cold Weather Payments on GOV.UK.

Grants to help pay off your energy debts

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off.

The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers:

If you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer. You’ll need to get debt advice before applying - get help from a debt adviser.

If you've already spoken to a debt adviser - check if you can get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust.

Before you apply

When you apply for a grant, you'll have to provide detailed information about your financial situation in your application. It could take a while to complete, and it might be worth getting help from a friend or family member. You can also talk to an adviser for help filling in forms.

It’s worth checking on the trust or fund website if there’s anything else you need to do before you apply.

For example, if your supplier is E.ON, E.ON Next or EDF you’ll need to show you’ve completed a budget sheet with a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved adviser. To do this:

  1. Find an adviser using the debt advice locator on the Money Helper website
  2. Check if the adviser or their firm is on the FCA register
  3. Contact the adviser to arrange a conversation where you’ll complete a budget sheet

You can get ready for your conversation by using the Budget Planner on the Money Helper website.

Local energy grants

Check if you can get a local energy grant on the Simple Energy Advice website.

You might also be able to find grants or schemes run by your local council. Find your local council on GOV.UK.

Extra help from your supplier

You might be able to get extra help and support from your energy supplier by signing up to the Priority Services Register. You can sign up if you've reached state pension age, you're disabled or sick, or if your energy network considers you 'vulnerable'.

Your energy supplier can help you with things like:

  • reading your energy meter
  • moving your energy meter free of charge
  • getting your bills sent or copied to someone else - for example, a carer

If you’re struggling with living costs

If you’re struggling with money, there are things you can do to save on your regular living costs. Check what to do if you need help with living costs.

If you’re finding it hard to pay your bills, you can get help. Find out more about getting help with your bills.

You can also get help with debts.

If you're struggling to pay for food, find out how to get help from a food bank.

Further help

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need more help - a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone or by email.

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