Government help with winter gas and electricity bills
There are several Government schemes available during the winter to help you pay your gas and electricity bills and keep warm during the cold weather.
Depending on your individual situation, you could be entitled to government help through a:
- warm home discount,
- winter fuel payment, or
- cold weather payment.
Help with the financial impact of coronavirus
A number of measures are being rolled out to help people who are struggling financially because of coronavirus. These include credit card and mortgage payment breaks, changes to overdraft charges, help for renters and the extension of the moratorium period for debts in Scotland.
Read our guides:
Your gas and electricity are priority bills that should be accounted for in your monthly budget and kept up to date, especially as the consequences of not paying your gas or electricity bills could be serious.
What’s the warm home discount scheme?
If you're eligible, the 2020-2021 version of the warm home discount scheme gives you a discount of £140 off your electricity bill. Payments are made directly to your supplier between September 2020 and March 2021, and will be reflected on your energy bill statement.
The warm home discount is in addition to your cold weather or winter fuel payments.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme for winter 2019 to 2020 closed on 31 March 2020. The 2020 to 2021 scheme will open on 12 October 2020.
Who can apply for the warm home discount?
Two groups qualify for the discount: the 'core' group and the 'boarder' group. You’ll automatically be entitled to the warm home discount if:
- you are receiving the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)
- your energy supplier is part of the scheme, and
- your name (or your partner’s) is on the bill
All three conditions need to be met to be included in the core group.
If this doesn’t apply to you, you could still be entitled to the discount if:
- your energy supplier is part of the scheme,
- you’re on a low income, or
- you get certain means-tested benefits.
This is the boarder group. To obtain the payment you’ll need to apply directly to your energy supplier and stay with them until the discount is paid.
For more information on how to apply, check gov.uk.