Skip to Content Skip to Navigation
Member Login

Member login

No account? JOIN US

Fuel costs

You or the person you are looking after may be entitled to certain payments to help with fuel bills.


This information applies to people living in England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland.


Winter Fuel Payments

The Winter Fuel Payment is a yearly tax free payment of between £100 and £300 to help people pay for their heating in winter. Getting the payment will not affect any of your other benefits.

To qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment you must meet the following conditions:

  • have reached the qualifying age (born on or before 5th November 1953) (for winter 2018 to 2019 - this date changes every year)
  • you must have lived in the UK for at least one day throughout the week of 17 to 23 September 2018

How much you get depends on your circumstances during the qualifying week (17 to 23 September 2018), and you can see further information about this here.

Payment is automatic if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • you received a payment last year
  • you are getting a State Pension
  • you or your partner are getting one of the following benefits: Pension Credit; income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA); income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If any of the above don’t apply to you, including if you are getting Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and/or Child Benefit, then you will need to make a claim as your payment will not be automatic. Claim by 31st March 2019 by calling the Winter Fuel Payment helpline on 0800 731 0160. You can also download a claim form here (if you live in England, Wales & Scotland) or here (if you live in Northern Ireland).

Payments are generally made between November and December. If you have not had your payment by 14th January 2019 you should call the office that pays you your benefits.

back to top

Cold Weather Payments

If you're receiving certain benefits you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment of £25 for each week between 1 November and 31 March, in which the average temperature in your local area is at or below freezing over 7 consecutive days. Getting the payments will not affect any of your other benefits.

You are entitled to Cold Weather Payments if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • you receive Pension Credit
  • you receive Income Support or income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and have one or more of the following:
    • a disability premium or a pensioner premium;
    • a disabled child premium within your Income Support or income-based JSA;
    • Child Tax Credit with a disabled child element or a severely disabled child element; or
    • a child under five years old
  • you receive Universal Credit, you are not employed or self-employed, and you have one or more of the following: a child under five years old; or a limited capability for work element (with or without a work-related activity element) (or would do so but for the fact that you have a carer element)
  • you receive Universal Credit and you have a disabled child element within your Universal Credit award (in this situation you can be in employment or self-employment)

You don't need to apply. If you are entitled to a Cold Weather Payment, you’ll be paid it automatically. Cold Weather Payments are usually paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments. After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should receive a payment to your account within 14 working days.

back to top

Warm Home Discount

The Warm Home Discount scheme means that if you meet certain conditions you could get a £140 discount on your electricity bill (correct for winter 2018 to 2019). Getting the discount will not affect any of your other benefits.

You will qualify for this discount if on 8th July 2018 you met all the following conditions:

  • your electricity supplier was part of the scheme
  • your name (or your partner's) was on the bill
  • you were getting Guarantee Pension Credit

If you meet the above conditions you should get a letter by 7th December 2018 at the latest telling you either:

  • you don't have to apply - you'll get the discount automatically
  • to call a helpline by 28th February to confirm your details - the letter will tell you why and how

If you don't get a letter but think you meet the above conditions then you should contact the Warm Home Discount Team on 0800 731 0214.

If you don't meet the above conditions but are on a low income or get certain means-tested benefits you may still be able to apply for this discount. Each electricity supplier who is part of the scheme has their own extra eligibility conditions, and you should contact your supplier to see if you meet their conditions, and if so how to apply.

You can see a list of all the electricity suppliers that are part of the scheme here.

Payments are generally made between September and March.

back to top

Other help

Reducing your fuel bills

You could contact your supplier to see if they have any discounted tariffs for vulnerable customers. Some suppliers also offer help with energy efficiency measures such as insulation or draught proofing.

If you are unable to benefit from a special discounted tariff it is still worth asking if you could be paying less. They may be able to offer you a cheaper deal, or you might be able to save money by paying in a different way, for example by direct debit.

You may also want to shop around to see if you can find a better deal from another supplier, by using a price comparison website. To use one of these services you will need to provide information such as your postcode, the name of your current supplier and the name of your deal, and an idea of how much you spend on gas and electricity. You will then be provided with details of how much you would pay if you changed to other suppliers. You should also call the gas and electricity suppliers directly to confirm these prices, before making any decision.

Note: This information does not apply to Northern Ireland. There is only one electricity supplier and there are only two gas suppliers. You can still contact your supplier to see if you are on the best price plan and to ask if there is other help they may be able to provide.

Energy saving improvements

The Energy Saving Trust offers independent expert advice on saving energy in your home and has information on their website which you can view here.

If you own or rent your home and are considering making energy efficiency improvements, there are a number of schemes provided by the Government, energy suppliers and local councils for example that may be able to help. Some schemes are only available to people on low incomes or certain benefits.

The schemes available will depend on whether you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The charity Turn2us provides some useful information on their web page here.

Help with fuel debts

If you are in debt with your electricity or gas supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help you with this payment. Whether you will be able to get a grant will depend on your household income and savings/capital and your household circumstances. In addition, grant providers generally like to see that you have had debt advice before you try and get help in the form of a grant. See our Help with debt page for details of how to get debt advice.

Some electricity and gas suppliers have Trusts or Funds which can offer grants to their own customers who are in debt:

In addition, there is a British Gas Energy Trust which can offer grants to anyone in electricity or gas arrears, regardless as to whether they are a British Gas customer or not.

back to top

Join us

Hands join us

Together we're a supportive community and a movement for change.

How you can help

Carer and son

With your help we can reach more carers with timely support and advice.

Campaign

Megaphone

We will keep campaigning until every carer gets proper recognition and support.

Talk to us

Phone footer

Caring can be complicated. We're here for you with help and advice.

Back to top string(9) "help_item"