Looking for support in affording a heated house and energy efficient lifestyle? You may be eligible to apply for one or more of the schemes below which are designed to further help you achieve a more affordable and energy efficient way of life.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
The Warm Home Discount Scheme offers upto £140 off a winter electricity bill to support those on low incomes with heating their homes. You won’t receive the £140 in cash or by cheque, but instead will have the money deducted from a winter bill by your supplier.
To find out if you qualify, contact your supplier. Not all suppliers are part of this scheme, but check on the government website to find out if yours offers the discount.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
Energy companies are obliged by the government to take measures to reduce energy fees for vulnerable customers to ensure that everyone can afford a warm home. As part of this duty, they may pay for part of or for an entire upgrade of a heating system or insulation works – however, this is mainly the larger energy companies
This might be suitable for you if you’re a private tenant, homeowner or receive certain benefits – call your supplier to find to apply.
Priority Services Register (PSR)
If you’re a pensioner, have a hearing or visual impairment, are disabled or are chronically sick, you should consider signing up to your supplier’s Priority Services Register. This means that you may be able to get extra help and support, such as free movement of hard to access energy meters, protection from cold callers with a password protection scheme and free advice on how to be more energy-efficient.
Contact your supplier to see if you’re eligible to sign up: if your suppliers are different for gas and electricity, call them both!
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 5th May 1953 or receive certain benefits, you may be able eligible for a tax-free payment of £100-£300 to help pay your winter fuel bills. These payments are transferred automatically before Christmas, and can be claimed until the 31stMarch each year if the money hasn’t automatically transferred.
To get more details and find out how to make a first time claim by either post or phone, go here.
Cold Weather Payment
Between November and March, if the temperature falls below 0⁰C for 7 consecutive days you may be eligible to receive the Cold Weather Payment to help you to maintain a warm house. If you already receive income support and the temperatures recorded in your area by the Met Office average below 0⁰C for a week, then you may be awarded £25 to help towards heating costs.
If you think this may have applied to you over the last period, then use the government’s post code checker to see if there are any outstanding payments in your area.
Fuel Direct Scheme
A scheme set up to help pay off fuel debt by taking small payments directly out of your benefits. To avoid being disconnected by your supplier, you can ask your benefits office to pay the supplier a pre-agreed amount (ususally around £3.55 a week) directly from your benefits. It can also be used to pay for your ongoing usage of fuel or electricity, but the scheme is designed to help get those in debt back on track with their fuel payments.
Call your energy supplier to work out a payment plan if you are in debt – don’t ignore it and let it get bigger!