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Worried about rising energy bills?

We're here to help with free advice for dealing with your money worries.

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Government help with gas and electricity bills

There are several government schemes to help with the rising cost of bills, though some of the rules have changed.

Government help includes:

  • Energy Price Guarantee
  • Cost of Living Payments
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payments
  • Disability Cost of Living Payments
  • The Household Support Fund
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • Winter Fuel Payments
  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

Gas and electricity bills are priority bills. Your supplier could cut you off if you do not pay.

Get free and confidential debt advice if you are worried about bills.

Confused by the changing rules on prepayment meters?

OfGem recently announced that some energy suppliers can start installing involuntary prepayment meters again.

Find out if this impacts you here.

Cost of living support with the rising cost of energy bills

Energy Price Guarantee

England, Scotland, and Wales.

The government introduced the Energy Price Guarantee in 2022.

The Ofgem price cap is now lower than the Energy Price Guarantee level.

This changes how it works.

From 1st October 2023:

The energy price guarantee:

  • Only applies to homes with a pre-payment meter
  • Reduces standing charges instead of unit rates
  • Should save the average prepayment meter customer £40 a year

If you do not have a pre-payment meter:

Ofgem has set the price cap at £1,923 between October and December 2023.

The Energy Price Guarantee will kick in again if energy prices rise above £3000.

Find out more at Gov.UK.

£900 one-off Cost of Living Payment for those on means-tested benefits

The £900 cash boost started in Spring 2023.

The second £300 payment from DWP will arrive in bank accounts between 31 October and 19 November 2023.

You are eligible if you were entitled to means tested benefits between 18 August 2023 to 17 September 2023.

These include:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Tax credits
    • Payments come from HMRC if you only get tax credits
    • This will arrive between 10 and 19 November 2023

You are not eligible if your benefits reduced to £0 between 18 August and 17 September 2023.

You are not eligible if your tax credits entitlement for the tax year is below £26.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

For households getting Winter Fuel Payments.

This payment is:

  • Tax-free
  • Usually paid by Direct Debit
  • Does not affect other benefits

You get a 2023/2024 Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before 25 September 1957.

You will get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023.

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

A one-off, tax-free payment for people on the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Most people automatically got this payment between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023.

Your payment may arrive late if:

  • You were awarded a qualifying benefit at a later date or
  • You changed the account your benefit is paid into

Report a missing Cost of Living Payment.

The Household Support Fund

The government announced in March 2024 that the Household Support Fund is extending for another six months.

The fund helps households pay for basics like food and energy bills.

To find out more and apply, contact your local council.

These one off payments will not affect your debt solution. Use the money to help pay priority debts and bills.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

The 2023/2024 Warm Home Discount Scheme opens on 16 October 2023.

You could get £150 off your electricity bill.

You qualify if you:

And either:

  • Have high energy costs (England and Wales)
  • Fit your suppliers criteria (Scotland)

Speak to your supplier if you are on a pre-pay meter.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme at GOV.UK.

Cold Weather Payment

You will get cold weather payments if you receive either:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit or
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

Payments are made when local temperatures are:

  • Zero degrees celsius or below
  • Over 7 consecutive days

Payments are:

  • Automatically added to your benefits
  • £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather
  • Between 1 November and 31 March

Find out more about Cold Weather Payments at GOV.UK.

worried woman reading paperwork

Worried about rising energy bills?

We're here to help with free advice.

Get help now

Winter Fuel Payment

You get a 2023/2024 Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before 25 September 1957.

  • Payments between £250 or £600
  • This includes the £150-£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

Your other benefits are not affected.

You receive this payment automatically.

  • A letter in October or November will tell you how much your payment is
  • You will likely be paid in November or December

If you think you are eligible but nothing happens:

Find out more and how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment at GOV.UK.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

Only available in England and Wales.

This grant helps cover the cost of replacing a fossil fuel heating system.

You could get:

  • £5,000 towards an air source heat pump
  • £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump including:
    • Water source heat pumps
    • Those on shared ground loops
  • £5,000 towards a biomass boiler

You cannot:

  • Get more than one grant per property
  • Get a grant for a combination heat pump system (like a of gas boiler and air source heat pump)

Find out more and check if you are eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme

I'm struggling with my gas and electricity bills. Can you help?

Get free debt advice online if you are struggling to manage your bills.