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Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - if you're struggling to pay your energy bills

Tell your supplier if you can’t afford your bills because of coronavirus. You’ll find their contact details on your bill or on their website. 

You can get help from Home Energy Scotland. Find guidance and contact details on the Home Energy Scotland website

You might also be able to apply for a crisis grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, you might be able to take advantage of certain benefits, grants and help offered by the UK government, the Scottish government and energy suppliers.

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel Payment is a payment to help you pay your heating bills during the winter.

You'll get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically - you don't need to apply - if all of the following apply:

  • you get the State Pension or another benefit - but not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit
  • you were born on or before 5 October 1954
  • you lived in the UK for at least 1 day during the week of 21 to 27 September 2020 - this is called the 'qualifying week'.

If you don't get the State Pension or another benefit, or if you live abroad, you might need to make a claim.

Find out more about 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 if you already get:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit.

Find out more about cold weather payments on GOV.UK.

Child Winter Heating Assistance

You might be able to get an annual payment of a benefit called Child Winter Heating Assistance. If you have a child or young person in the household who receives the highest rate of the care component of child Disability Living Allowance or the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment in the qualifying week, you are eligible for the £202 payment. The qualifying week is the third week in September.

It does not have to be used to pay heating costs. Read more about Child Winter Heating Assistance.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You might be able to get £140 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you’re either:

  • getting the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit
  • on a low income.

Check with your supplier to see if they offer the Warm Home Discount - not all suppliers are part of the scheme.

If you've applied for the Warm Home Discount but you switch supplier before you get the payment, you have to apply again with your new supplier. Your new supplier might have different rules about who gets the discount. This doesn’t affect you if you get the discount automatically, without having to apply.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme 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 from a charitable trust to help pay it off.

The British Gas Energy Trust offer grants and schemes that are open to anyone, you don't have to be a customer.

There are also companies who offer grants specifically for their customers:

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 applying. 

You can get help with the application from a Citizens Advice Bureau - where to get advice.

Before you apply

Charitable trusts like you to show that you have received debt advice before you apply. Debt advice can help you manage your debts and increase your chances of making a successful application. You can get debt advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau, or talk to an adviser from the Money Talk Team.

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’re a pensioner, disabled or sick, or if you’re energy network considers you 'vulnerable'.

They would be able to 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, eg a carer.

Get help with bills and budgeting

If you're trying to cut your spending, or are having problems with your outgoings, you could get help with bills. You could also use our budgeting tool to see exactly where your money goes each month.

Further help

You can read our advice for steps you can take if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.

If you want to find out about how to make your home more energy efficient to help reduce your fuel costs see Funding for energy efficiency in homes.

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