As the cold snap arrives many will faced with the mounting energy costs. For many, winter can be a difficult and costly time of the year. However, the good news is that there is help available especially to those who are elderly, vulnerable or on low incomes.
Cold Weather Payment
If you are in receipt of certain benefits you could be eligible for a payment when the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for seven consecutive days. The 2016 to 2017 Cold Weather Payment scheme is due to start on 1 November 2016. You’ll be able to check if your area is due a payment in November 2016.
You’ll get a payment of £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.
Winter Fuel Payment
You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 May 1953.
Most payments are made automatically between November and December. You should get your money by Christmas.
You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
If you qualify but don’t get paid automatically, you’ll need to apply for the payment.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £140 off your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme. For more information, see www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/heating
Payment towards a new boiler
You can also get up to £1,000 towards the replacement of your boiler. See www.government-grants.co.uk/boiler-grants or www.free-boilers.org.uk/
Grants available for energy debts
If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get secure a grant to help pay for it.
The following energy manage schemes open to customers and the wider public alike:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- EDF Energy Trust
- E.on Energy Fund
The below are available to existing clients only:
- npower Energy Fund
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund
- Ovo Energy Fund
- SSE (Southern Electric) Priority Assistance Fund
You can also get help from an adviser at your local Citizens Advice.