Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills
You might be able to get help if you’re struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter. The help you get depends on:
how you pay for your energy
the type of energy you use
if you claim benefits
Check if something is an energy scam
Some scammers are pretending to be from energy companies to get your personal information.
If you think something might be a scam:
don’t give out any personal information or bank details
don’t use any contact details from the possible scam
You can check if something is a scam.
Check if you can get a fuel voucher
If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher.
You'll get the voucher as a code in a letter, 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.
You can use a fuel voucher at:
a shop signed up to PayPoint - find a shop near you on the PayPoint website
a Post Office or shop signed up to Payzone - find a Post Office or shop near you on the Payzone website
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
If you have a smart prepayment meter you can also add the fuel voucher credit to your account online. To do this, follow the instructions on your voucher.
Check your fuel voucher to see when it expires. You might have to use it within 15 days.
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 to heat your home
If you can’t afford to buy fuel, you might be able to get financial help. You might be eligible 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 help. Your local Citizens Advice will need to apply for you.
Check if you can sign up to the Priority Services Register
You can get extra help from your gas and electricity supplier by signing up to the Priority Services Register. You can sign up if you’re either:
of State Pension age
disabled or have a long-term health condition
considered ‘vulnerable’ by your energy network
You could be classed as vulnerable if you're disabled or have a long-term health condition. Your energy network might also consider you vulnerable if you:
don't speak or read English well
have children under 5 years old or are pregnant
have no sense of smell or would struggle to smell gas
If you’re on the Priority Services Register your energy supplier can:
make your call a priority when you contact them
give their engineers a password if they visit or contact you - so you know they’re genuine
move your prepayment meter if you struggle to get to it
Signing up to the Priority Services Register
You’ll need to fill out the form on your electricity operator’s website - this is who owns and operates the electricity cables in your area. Your electricity operator is different from your electricity supplier, who sends your bills.
You can check who your electricity network operator is on the Power Cut 105 website. You'll need to know the postcode of your property.
If you pay your landlord for energy
If your landlord gets a discount on energy from a government scheme, they must pass on a fair amount of the discount to you.
If your home is on a heat network
Heat network suppliers must pass on a fair amount of any discount they get from the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme to you.
Grants to help pay off energy debt
If you’re behind with your energy bills, you might be able to get a grant to help you pay off your debt. This might be from your energy company or a charitable trust.
Help to make your home more energy efficient
You might be able to make your home more energy efficient to help reduce your fuel costs. Find out more about funding for energy efficiency in homes.
Local energy grants
You might be able to find grants or schemes run by your local council. You can try searching on your local council’s website for energy grants. Find your local council's website on GOV.UK.
Rewards for reducing energy use at set times
You might be able to earn rewards this winter for using less electricity at certain times. This is through a scheme called the Demand Flexibility Service, which is running from November 2023 to March 2024.
You’ll need to have a smart meter in your home or have a business account with half-hourly meter readings to be eligible for the scheme.
If you’re eligible and your supplier is part of the scheme, they should be in touch to tell you how to sign up. You can also use some apps to take part without involving your supplier.
Check if your supplier and which apps are part of the Demand Flexibility Service on the National Grid website. Click on the registered providers list.
Your supplier or app provider will contact you before each event to let you know when you should use less electricity. The events generally last an hour and run at the peak time for energy use, between 4pm and 7pm.
Earning the most from the scheme
At the times your supplier asks you to use less electricity, you should avoid using the appliances that use the most energy, including:
Don’t stop using essential appliances like your fridge freezer or heating. It’s very important to stay warm and healthy. There’s no need to turn your lights off either - lightbulbs don’t use much electricity.
To stay safe, don’t set appliances to run when you are in bed or out of the house.
Check if you can get a Warm Home Discount
If you get benefits, you might be able to get £150 off your electricity bill or £150 added to your prepayment meter.
You can only get the Warm Home Discount if your supplier is in the scheme. You can find out if your energy supplier is part of the scheme on GOV.UK.
You might need to apply to your energy supplier for the discount. It depends on what benefits you get.
You should get the Warm Home Discount if you or your partner got the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit on 13 August 2023. You don’t need to apply for the scheme - payments are automatic. You should get a letter from your supplier confirming the payment.
If you get a different benefit, like Universal Credit, check with your energy supplier to find out if you can get the discount and how to apply. You should apply as soon as possible.
If you're eligible, you'll get the Warm Home Discount between October 2023 and March 2024.
If you applied for the discount, you’ll usually need to stay with your supplier until the discount is paid. If you want to switch supplier, check if your old supplier will still give you the discount if you leave. If they won't, check if the new supplier is part of the scheme and if you can still make an application. They might have different deadlines or eligibility.
Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme on GOV.UK.
If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit but switched supplier after 13 August 2023
Check the supplier you were with on 13 August 2023. If you were eligible to get the discount from them, you should still get it. Contact your old supplier and:
ask if they have your contact details
check when the payment will be made
If your supplier on 13 August 2023 isn't in the scheme, you won’t get the discount. This is true even if you switched to a supplier in the scheme after this date.
If you live in a mobile home or park home site
You might be able to get the £150 payment as part of the Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme. To be eligible to apply for the payment you must:
permanently live on a park home site
pay for your electricity through the park, or as part of their pitch fees
be paying Council Tax or receive Council Tax support, discount or a reduction
be on a low income or getting certain benefits
If you or a member of your household gets Pension Credit you can apply for the scheme - you don’t need to be getting any other benefit.
If you don’t get Pension Credit
You might still be able to get the payment if your annual household income is less than £18,723 before tax and deductions or you get one of the following benefits:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit - and your individual income is less than £18,723
You'll be eligible to apply if you're in one of the following situations:
you’re getting State Pension
you have limited capability for work as part of Universal Credit (UC)
you’re responsible for a child under the age of 18
you’re getting disabled child element of UC or disabled child premium or child tax credit on another benefit
you’re getting disability or pensioner premiums on another benefit
you’re getting disability benefits
you have a medical or maternity exemption certificate
If you're of State Pension age
You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment, this is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter.
You’ll get between £250 to £600, this automatically includes an extra Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.
You should start getting the Winter Fuel Payment automatically once you reach State Pension age, but sometimes you might need to apply. You can check how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment on GOV.UK.
Check how much Pensioner Cost of Living Payment you'll get
You’ll get £300 if you live either:
on your own
with people who don’t qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment
If you live with someone else who qualifies for the Winter Fuel Payment, the amount you’ll get depends on whether either of you gets any of the following:
If either you or the person you live with gets one of these benefits, you’ll both get £300 - as long as you’re not partners. If you’re partners, you’ll only get one £300 payment.
If neither of you gets one of these benefits, you’ll both get £150.
If you live in residential care and qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you'll get £150 unless you get any of these benefits. If you get any of the benefits, you won't get a pensioner cost of living payment.
Winter Heating Payment
Winter Heating Payment has replaced the Cold Weather Payment in Scotland.
It's paid once a year to help with your energy bills in winter. If you're eligible, Social Security Scotland will send you a letter before you get the payment.
In winter 2023-2024, the payment is £55.05. In winter 2022-2023, the payment was £50.
You might get a Winter Heating Payment if you get:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Support for Mortgage Interest.
You won't need to apply for Winter Heating Payment. You'll get it automatically if you're eligible.
Find out more about Winter Heating Payment on mygov.scot.
Child Winter Heating Payment
Child Winter Heating Payment is a payment of £235.70 in winter 2023-2024.
In winter 2022-2023, the payment was £214.10.
It's paid once a year to parents and carers to help with household costs for disabled children and young people under 19.
You'll get Child Winter Heating Payment if you have a child or young person in the household who gets 1 of the following benefits in the qualifying week:
the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment
the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.
The qualifying week is the third week in September.
The payment does not have to be used to pay heating costs.
Read more about Child Winter Heating Payment.
Home Heating Support Fund
If you’re struggling with energy costs, you might be able to get help from the Home Heating Support Fund.
It doesn’t matter what type of fuel or payment method you use.
An advice agency can submit an application for you, or you can submit your own application. Before you apply, you must have received energy or money advice. You can check the list of agencies that can give advice on the Home Heating Support Fund website.
Payments are made directly to your energy supplier.
Find out more about how to apply on the Home Heating Support Fund website.
If you use an oxygen concentrator
If you use an oxygen concentrator for a disability or health condition, you can get money back for the electricity it uses. This is called a ‘rebate’.
You should get the rebate every 3 months. The person who installs your concentrator should tell you how to get the rebate.
If your rebate hasn't been set up, you can contact Dolby Vivisol Home Respiratory Care on their website.
If you need somewhere to stay warm
You can ask your local council if they have information about nearby ‘warm spaces’. These are public places that anyone can use to stay warm - for example a community space like a library.
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.
If you’re finding things difficult
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. You should talk to your GP if your money problems are affecting your mental health.
You can also get help on the Breathing Space website.
If you need to speak to someone right now, you can call the Samaritans for free.
Helpline: 116 123 (Monday to Sunday at any time)
Welsh Language Line: 0808 164 0123 (Monday to Sunday 7pm to 11pm)
You can also text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained Shout 85258 volunteer. Texts are free, anonymous and confidential from anywhere in the UK.
If you think it's an emergency
If you think your life or someone else’s is at risk, you should call 999 or go to A&E if you can.
If you need support you can call NHS 24 on 111, the Mental Health Hub is open 24/7.
If you're deaf or hard of hearing, you can get help with energy issues from Deaf Action's Bright Deal service. It can give you advice in BSL, either online, on a video call or by arranging a home visit. Find out more on Deaf Action's website.
Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau if you need more help. A trained adviser can give you advice over the phone or by email.