We've listed a number of places below where you can go for help with energy costs for your home. However, if you’re worried about your finances or struggling to pay your rent or bills, please get in touch with us and we can help. Our expert team of advisors specialises in providing money, benefits, and debt advice. Give us a call on 0800 3 282 282 and select option 3.
Energy Price Cap
The new energy price cap, also known as the Energy Price Guarantee is set at £1,834 a year for a typical household using gas or electricity and paying by direct debit. This current cap applied from 1 October until 31 December 2023. As of 1 January 2024, the price cap will increase to £1,928 a year. This cap sets a maximum on the standing charge and unit rates that your energy supplier can charge. Therefore, if you use more than the average amount of energy in your home, you could still pay more than £1,837.
This cap only applies to those on standard and default tariffs, so if you’re on a fixed-term energy deal, the cap will not apply to you. As with previous price caps, this cap does not apply to those who receive their energy from commercial supply, which includes our customers who have communal heat supply.
Energy Bills Discount Scheme
The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS), introduced from 1 April 2023, replaced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). The EBDS scheme has previously given discounts to our heat network customers, which was reflected directly in customers’ bills your energy provider.
The current EBDS discount applies those who are on a non-domestic supply for their gas or electricity. No application is required to be made by you for this discount, it is automatically applied by our energy suppliers and reflected in your bills where applicable. Because the gas and electricity pricing we recently procured is low, there may only be a small discount applied or no discount at all.
Warm Homes Discount
For winter 2023/2024 you could get £150 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. This is a discount that will be applied to your bill between October 2023 and the end of March 2024. This discount should be applied automatically if you are eligible. You’ll receive a letter confirming this by early January 2024.
To be eligible you’ll need to receive the guarantee credit element of pension credit and/or be on a low income, including those receiving certain benefits which have high energy costs.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill if you’re eligible and if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Please check with your supplier to find this out.
You can visit the Warm Homes Discount page to find out further information on your eligibility or if you believe you’re eligible for the scheme but haven’t received a letter by early January 2024.
Pensioner cost of living and winter fuel payments
You can get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before 25 September 1957. You should receive a letter this autumn informing you of how much you’ll receive. This amount is between £250 and £600 depending on circumstances, including whether you receive benefits. To receive this payment, you would need to have been eligible between 18 and 24 September 2023. This is automatically paid directly into your bank account either in November or December. You don’t need to apply.
A Pensioner Cost of Living Payment of £300 per household will be paid as a top up to those eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment during November and December. If you were born before 25 September 1957 and receive the Winter Fuel Payment, you’ll automatically receive the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment at the same time.
You don’t need to apply or contact anyone to receive this cost-of -living Payment alongside your Winter Fuel Payment. If you’re eligible, you’ll have received a letter telling you how much your payment will be. If you don’t get a letter, or the money has not been paid into your account by 26 January 2024, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre by calling 0800 731 0160.
While most eligible pensioners will receive the Winter Fuel Payment automatically, a small number of people may need to make a claim for it. To check if you need to do this, visit gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment. If you’re claim is successful, you’ll then be eligible for the Pensioner Cost of Living Payment. The deadline for you to make a claim for this winter is 31 March 2024.
You can visit the Winter Fuel Payment page to find out further information.
Cost of living payments
The cost-of-living payments are set to continue into spring of next year. If you were previously eligible then you should have received a payment in either April or May of this year.
To be eligible for any cost-of-living payments, you must receive benefits or tax credits. Please note that you will receive payments based on eligibility between certain dates. For example, you may only receive one payment if you were only eligible for a brief period in 2023, such as receiving Universal Credit.
Further payments are due in 2023 and 2024. These are as follows:
- £300 paid between 31 October and 19 November if you receive certain benefits
- £300 paid between 10 and 19 November if you only get tax credits
- £299 paid in Spring 2024 if you receive certain benefits or get tax credits.
As above, you’ll receive payments based on eligibility between certain dates. You may only receive one payment if you were only eligible for a brief period in 2023. You will receive these payments automatically into your account. You don’t need to apply.
Further information on eligibility and information on payments can be found on the Cost of Living Payments 23/24 page.
Cold weather payments
If you receive certain benefits or support on your mortgage interest, then you’ll receive £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 2023 and March 2024. Very cold weather is defined as the average temperature being at or below zero for seven days in a row. These payments are automatic. You don’t need to apply. You can visit the Cold Weather Payment page for more information
Priority Services register
The Priority Services Register is a free support service that makes sure extra help is available if you’re vulnerable or in a vulnerable situation. You can receive priority support in emergency situations, support when calling your supplier and help with prepayment meter access and reading. You should contact your energy supplier to be added to this register.
Visit the Priority Services Register page for more information.
Household Support Fund
You may be able to receive some help with essential costs such as energy bills from your local council. This funding is aimed at anyone who is vulnerable and/or cannot pay for essentials. You do not need to be on benefits to receive help from this fund. You’ll need to contact your local council for further information or to apply for help. Visit Find Your Local Council if you’re not sure who to contact.
Leap is a free energy and money saving service that helps people reduce their energy bills. You can apply by visiting Leap. An advisor will then contact you to confirm your eligibility and arrange for a qualified energy advisor to provide energy saving advice, help with energy switching and refer you for money saving advice.
Citizens Advice has advice on energy saving in your home and how to get help with paying bills on the energy pages of its website, where you can also find out what to do if your energy supplier goes bust.
Switching energy supplier
While it’s difficult to find cheaper energy deals at the moment, if you’re thinking about switching suppler, USwitch is a great place to start.
More information on switching supplier is also available from Ofgem.
Reducing energy use to help keep your bills down
We’ve also pulled together some handy tips to help reduce your energy bills. Check out our energy saving tips webpage.