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Check what help is available

You might be able to get help with your energy bills. The help available will depend on how you pay for your energy, the type of energy you use and if you claim benefits.

Check you're getting all the benefits and help you're entitled to

  • Making sure you are receiving all the help you are entitled to will make paying for fuel bills and other household expenses easier.

  • Did you know that over £20bn in benefits and tax credits goes unclaimed in the UK? That's enough to pay the fuel bills of millions of homes!

  • If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, or simply want to make sure that you are getting all the financial help you are entitled to, your local Citizens Advice can help you to check that you are not missing out on any benefits or tax credits that could boost your income.

If you've reached state pension age you may get a Winter Fuel Payment to help with winter heating costs. This will be paid in the same way your benefit or pension is paid. If you’ve not received a Winter Fuel Payment before, phone the Winter Fuel Payments helpline on 0800 731 0160 to apply.

Some people who receive benefits can also get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 if the temperature drops below freezing in their local area for seven days in a row. You don't need to apply – if you are eligible it will be paid automatically in the same way you receive your benefits.

The Warm Home Discount scheme is a Government scheme, whereby energy suppliers provide rebates to households on certain benefits. You’ll usually get the discount automatically if you’re eligible. If you might be eligible, you’ll get a letter by early January 2024. If you do not get a letter and you think you’re eligible, you must contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before 29 February 2024.

Check with your supplier to see if they offer the Warm Home Discount – not all suppliers are part of the scheme. Phone your supplier and ask, or check on the website. If you’ve applied for the Warm Home Discount but you switch supplier before you get the payment, you can contact your old supplier to make sure they have your details to forward the payment to you. If your electricity supplier goes bust, ask your new supplier if you’ll still get the Warm Home Discount.

If you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter, then you might be able to get a fuel voucher from your local council. If eligible, you will receive a code in a letter, text message or email, and you can use it to add credit to your account.

You might also be able to get extra support from your energy supplier by signing up to the Priorities Services Register. Contact your supplier to find out if you are eligible to be added - if you are, then they will offer extra support including making your call a priority when you contact them

Use heating oil for fuel?

If you use heating oil it can be more difficult for you to shop around and feel hard to switch supplier. But you do have some options - the Oil save website can help you find out about alternative suppliers in your area, and to get a better deal you might consider joining or setting up a local oil buying club.

Oil clubs are a great way to save money on fuel costs. In simple terms, you can use the collective buying power of a group in your local area to negotiate a better deal from oil suppliers by buying in bulk and getting deliveries at the same time. Discounts of up to 10 per cent are possible, and they also help the environment by cutting down the number of tanker journeys on roads. Find out more on ACRE’s website (England only).