With the high rise in energy prices, and the wider cost of living crisis, many of us are struggling to pay our energy bills. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of organisations and financial support schemes to help get you through the winter.
Useful Organisations & Websites for Advice:
Support You’ll Automatically Receive
Energy Bills Support Scheme Discount
The UK government is providing a £400 discount on energy bills to everyone in UK. Energy suppliers will apply a £66 discount to households every month for 6 months, starting in October 2022. The discount will be taken off your usual energy bills, automatically applied to your smart meter, or for old style ‘pay as you go’ meters, you’ll receive discount vouchers by email or post.
£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
£150 for those on Disability Benefits. The qualifying benefits are Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Adult Disability Payment, Child Disability Payment, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment and War Pension Mobility Supplement.
You have to have been receiving the disability benefit on the 25th May 2022 in order to receive the Cost of Living Payment. You will automatically receive the Cost of Living Payment from your usual benefits provider – usually the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Social Security Scotland. This payment was due to be made from the end of September onwards. If you haven’t received this payment and feel you should have done, then you can report it using this form:
£650 Cost of Living Payment
If you receive certain income-based welfare benefits, you could also be eligible for £650 in Cost of Living Payments. This is split into 2 payments, one payment of £326 which you should have already received between July and September. The second payment of £324 is due to be paid in November for most people. More information on the qualifying criteria for each benefit can be found here:
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
Pensioners who are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022-2023, will receive an extra payment of £300.
More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment#pensioner-cost-of-living-payment
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born on or before 25th September 1956, then you could be entitled to winter fuel payments between £250 and £600. This includes the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment mentioned above. If you are eligible for this payment, you should get a letter saying how much you’ll get and will receive the payment automatically in November or December.
More information on qualifying criteria and how much you’ll receive can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
£150 Warm Home Discount (WHD)- November 2022
Energy companies who are part of the scheme (most larger companies are) provide a £150 discount to those deemed most at risk of fuel poverty. There are two groups of people who receive this discount.
1).Pensioners who receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit. These pensioners are known as the Scottish Core Group. The DWP works with suppliers to find these people and suppliers should automatically apply the discount.
2). Scottish Warm Home Discount Broader Group – The eligibility criteria for others who qualify for the WHD discount is more complex, but generally includes those who receive in work benefits and also have a young or disabled child. You can ask your supplier if you qualify for this discount, and how to apply. The scheme will open on the 14th November 2022.
For more information: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes/warm-home-discount-whd
If you receive certain income related welfare benefits, and are elderly/ have a disability, you may be entitled to Cold Weather Payments. For every week where the average temperature is below 0ﹾc, you will receive £25. More information on eligibility criteria can be found here:
Child Winter Heating Assistance
This is a payment of £214.10 for disabled children and young people in Scotland who are under the age of 19, and receive certain disability benefits. The qualifying Disability Benefits are:
- the highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment
- the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance for children
- the enhanced daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
- the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment
To be eligible, the child/young person must have been receiving the benefit since the week of the 19-25th September 2022. This includes eligible benefits which have been backdated to that week.
If you/your child is eligible, the money should be paid to automatically to the bank account where the disability benefit is usually received. Social Security Scotland reports that the payments started going out at the end of October 2022 and will continue for a few weeks in November.
For more information: https://www.mygov.scot/child-winter-heating-assistance/who-can-get-child-winter-heating-assistance
Other Support you can Apply For
Support from your Local Council
If you need urgent support to pay for fuel, food or household items, your local council may be able to help. Each council is providing support in differing ways but you may be able to get fuel vouchers, as well as food vouchers or an emergency grant. See what support your local council is providing here:
The Home Heating Support Fund
This fund provides support for people having to self-ration their energy use because of financial hardship, and is open now. You can apply for funding through advice agencies who are registered partners of the fund. There is a list of partners on the fund’s website. One of the partners is Advice Direct Scotland, and they can help you over the phone without the need for an appointment.
Alternatively, you can apply for the funding yourself, by filling in the application form on the fund’s website. However, you must have sought home heating advice from an advice agency before submitting your application.
Support from your Supplier
Some energy companies have grants available for customers with outstanding debt on their energy bills. British Gas, Eon, Eon Next, EDF, Scottish Power and Octopus all have funds for this purpose. Depending on the supplier, some of the funds will provide other types of support too. For example, the Eon fund can provide replacement household items such as cookers, fridges and washing machines.
If your supplier doesn’t have a fund for outstanding debts, then British Gas provides a fund which customers from other suppliers can apply to.
British Gas: https://britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/grants-available/
Eon Next https://www.eonnextenergyfund.com/
Scottish Power: https://community.scottishpower.co.uk/t5/Extra-Help/Hardship-Fund/ta-p/53
Getting all the Benefits you are Entitled to
Get help from an advice agency to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. For help finding an advice agency in your area, you can call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
Alternatively, you can check your entitlement online using the Turn2Us Benefits Entitlement Checker: https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/survey/1/ad10aa22-46ac-4c71-97f1-489af758b94e
The Fuel Bank Foundation
This organisation gives out emergency credit for prepayment meters for families in need. It is given out via trusted partners like Citizens Advice Scotland.
Warmer Homes Scotland
This is a grant for home owners and private sector tenants, to provide funds to pay for improvements to make your home more energy efficient. Further eligibility criteria applies: