Coping with extreme weather
Reduce the cost of winter
During the Winter months it is important to stay warm. Make sure you find out how warm your house should be.
If you need help or advice on fuel bills, talk to the Council or other local organisations.
If you are worrying about the cost of putting the heating on or if you are finding it difficult to pay your energy bills, you might be able to take advantage of benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers.
Priority Service Register
Energy suppliers are obliged to offer a range of free services, known as the priority services register, to their most vulnerable customers. These services are free to join and are available from all main gas and electricity suppliers.
The scheme is available to all household gas and electricity consumers who:
- are of pensionable age
- have a disability
- have a hearing and/or visual impairment
- have long-term ill-health.
There are some free services that you can only get if you are receiving a means-tested or income-tested benefit.
Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter. Anyone born on or before 5 January 1953 is eligible.
Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it is very cold. You'll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time. You will only be eligible if you already get:
- pension Credit
- income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- universal Credit
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.
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 following energy companies offer grants and schemes - you don't have to be a customer:
There are also companies who offer grants specifically for their customers:
- npower Energy Fund
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund
- Ovo Energy Fund
- SSE (Southern Electric) Priority Assistance Fund - check if you're eligible by calling 0800 072 8616
Money and debt advice
If you're having trouble paying bills or dealing with credit cards and loans, you can get help to manage your money. Find out more.
If you live in a cold home, or need help and advice on fuel bills, find out about our local Warm Homes Better Health Service.