The Energy Grants Edition: All the support available to help you pay your energy bills 2023 – MoneyMagpie
As the warm weather becomes a distant memory and the nights draw in, thoughts inevitably turn to those dreaded energy bills and how to pay for them.
The energy price cap- the amount suppliers can charge for each unit of energy used – will fall from £2074 to £1,923 from October 1, but it’s still much higher than we’re used to and likely to remain so for some time.
If fear you’ll struggle to keep your home warm this winter, here are some ways to get financial assistance across the UK.
Household Support Fund
In April The Department of Works and Pensions extended the funds availability to March 2024 and injected an additional £842 million to help those most in need with essential food and energy costs.
Local Authorities have discretion on exactly how the funding is used by drawing from local knowledge and there is no set criteria for who is eligible but the grant is for those in the community most in need of financial help.
You should contact your local council or take a look at their website to see what they offer and how to apply.
Council Tax Discounts
You might not realise it but you could be eligible to get money off your council tax bill. If there is only one adult in the household you could get 25% off under the single person discount. This includes if you are single and have a live in carer, only eligible adult with students in your home.
Any adult diagnosed with a severe mental impairment who has a live-in carer is eligible for a 50% discount. If they are living alone they will be eligible for a 100% discount.
If you are on a low income or claim benefits then your household could qualify for a reduction up to 100%.
If you’re home has been adapted for someone disabled this could potentially enable you to drop a tax band.
Go to the www.gov.uk site and it explains how to apply for a council tax discount. Sometimes payments can even be backdated, so check it out.
You never know!
Warm Home Discount Scheme
If you get benefits, including universal credit, the guarantee part of pension credit, housing benefit or income based jobseekers allowance, you could get £150 off your electricity bill or £150 added to your prepayment meter.
You will need to show that you have high energy costs so use the government’s online tool to see if you are likely to be eligible, www.gov.uk
You don’t need to apply for the scheme – payments are automatic if you meet the criteria and you are with one of the following suppliers who are in the scheme.
- Affect Energy
- British Gas
- Bulb Energy
- Co-op Energy (now part of Octopus)
- E (Gas and Electricity)
- E.ON Next
- EDF Energy
- Good Energy
- Octopus Energy
- Outfox the Market
- Rebel Energy
- Sainsbury’s Energy
- Shell Energy Retail
- So Energy
- SSE (now Ovo)
- Utility Warehouse
- 100Green (previously Green Energy UK)
- Housing Benefit
- income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits
- Income Support
If you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter or you don’t use gas or electricity to heat your home, you could get a fuel voucher. You will receive a code in a letter, text or email and this will allow you to credit your gas card or electricity key. If you don’t have one of those contact your supplier to get one.
Vouchers can be used at shops signed up to PayPoint or Payzone or a Post Office. You’ll need to take your code and instructions with you as well as a form of ID like a passport or bill with your name and address.
Check the expiry date on the voucher as some have to be used within 15 days. Contact your local Citizens Advice office if you need help.
Winter Fuel Payment
This is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter for households with someone born on or before 24 September 1957.
You could get between £250 and £600. The amount you will get incudes a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, this is between £150 to £300. You’ll get this extra amount in winter 2023/2024. If you are eligible you will get a letter in October or November to let you know how much you’ll get.
Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments are one-off payments to help you pay for extra heating costs when it’s very cold.
You’ll get a £25 payment each time the temperature drops to 0 degrees or below for seven consecutive days between November 1 and March 31. To be eligible you need to be receiving pension credit, income support, income based jobseekers allowance, income related employment and support allowance, universal credit or support for mortgage interest.
If you’re eligible, you’ll get paid automatically. Go to the www.gov.uk website for further guidance.
Energy Debt Grants
If you find yourself getting behind with your energy bills, you could get a grant to help pay it off from your supplier. Find your supplier below to see what they offer.
British Gas Energy Trust
Scottish Power Hardship Fund
Ovo Energy Fund
E.ON Energy Fund
E.ON Next Energy Fund
EDF Energy Customer Support Fund
Octopus Octo Assist Fund
If your supplier isn’t listed then charisgrants.com have partnered with UK energy companies to support household through the Let’s Talk Energy Fund, and you may find some additional help there.
If you are a pensioner, registered disabled, have a hearing or visual impairment or suffer from long term ill health, then sign up to the Priority Services Register (PSR), it’s a free service which provides extra advice and support to vulnerable households including things like if there is a power cut.
Local Energy Grants
Always remember to check what your local councils are offering, if you don’t look you won’t know what you could get. they may have ways to improve your home’s efficiency whether it’s grants for boilers or insulation.
And Don’t Forget
If you’re struggling with money, there are things you can do to save on your regular living costs. Check what to do if you need help with living costs.
If you’re finding it hard to pay your bills, you can get help. Find out more about getting help with your bills.
You can also get help with debts.
If you’re struggling to pay for food, find out how to get help from a food bank.