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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. 

For more advice, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133.

Or 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 government and energy suppliers.

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 have reached pension age in the 'qualifying week' which is from the third Monday in September in 2019. You will have reached pension age if you were born on or before 5th April 1954. These dates change every year because pension age is slowly going up until it reaches 67 for men and women.

Find out more about winter fuel payments on the UK Government website

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.

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 - where to get advice, or find an adviser near you on Scotland's Financial Health Service website.

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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