Paying your energy bills: help is at hand

3 min read
January 21, 2024

It’s that time of year when we’re turning the heating on. And with all of us uncertain about energy prices at the moment, we may be worried about our bills rising as a result.

If you think that paying your energy bill may be a problem, there is help. Aside from contacting your supplier – which according to regulator Ofgem is obliged to help you where it can – there are government schemes available that you may be eligible for to get a discount or grant to contribute to your energy costs.

Here we give you a breakdown of the main help schemes for energy bills – and the criteria and deadlines you must meet to take advantage of them.

Winter Fuel Payment

The Winter Fuel Payment could give you between £250 and £600 in winter to help cover the cost of your heating bills. 

To qualify your date of birth must be on or before 25 September 1957 and you also need to have lived in the UK for at least one day of the ‘qualifying week’ – this year that’s between 18th and 24th September 2023. 

If you meet the above eligibility criteria then you automatically get the Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • You get the State Pension
  • You get another social security benefit (but not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you get neither of these, you’ll need to make a claim for the payment. 

Cold Weather Payment

If you’re receiving certain benefits, including pension benefit, income support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Support for Mortgage Interest, then you may be entitled to a Cold Weather Payment.

You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather – defined as being or forecast to be zero degrees celsius or below- between 1 November 2023 and 31 March 2024. You shouldn’t need to claim for a Cold Weather Payment; if you’re eligible as it should be paid automatically, and you can check on the Government’s website to see if your postcode qualifies.

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount could, if you are eligible, give you £150 off your electricity bill this winter – or possibly your gas bill instead if your supplier is your provider for both. This money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024. 

If you might be eligible, you should have received a letter by early January 2024.

You need to be part of either the ‘core group’ or the ‘broader group’ to be potentially eligible and there are different routes to apply for each.

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.

To be eligible you must:

You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity and you’re eligible. However, your energy supplier must be a part of the scheme and you must stay with your supplier until the discount has been applied. 

In these cases you will need to apply to your energy supplier directly. There’s a limit on the number of discounts your supplier can give, but if you do feel you are eligible, get in touch as soon as possible to confirm this and find out how to apply. 

Your energy supplier can also help

Under regulator Ofgem’s rules, energy suppliers must work with you to agree a payment plan you can afford if you’re worried about paying your energy bills. As part of this, options you can ask for include a review of your payments or repayments, payment breaks or reductions, more time to pay or access to hardship funds. 

You may find your energy supplier is one of those that operates a scheme or grants to help with energy costs – contact your supplier directly to ask and see if you can apply. Some of these schemes are actually open to all, meaning you don’t have to be a customer to receive it. 

Finally, there are a number of small things you can do to reduce your energy consumption and cut your bills – our helpful guide gives you the tips you can try.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, or any other consumer issues you would like us to cover, feel free to get in touch with us at

Share this:


Need to resolve an issue? Let's get this sorted.

No Comments