Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

Talk to an energy adviser

Call our consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Lines are closed on bank holidays.

Calls from mobiles and landlines are free.

Check the different ways to contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

You might be able to get help if you’re struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter. The help you get depends on:

  • how you pay for your energy

  • the type of energy you use

  • if you claim benefits

Check if something is an energy scam

Some scammers are pretending to be from energy companies to get your personal information.

If you think something might be a scam: 

  • don’t give out any personal information or bank details

  • don’t use any contact details from the possible scam

You can check if something is a scam.

Check if you can get a fuel voucher

If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher.

You'll get the voucher as a code in a letter, text message or email.

You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one.

Your local council might be able to help you get a fuel voucher - find your local council on GOV.UK. If you’re still not sure if you can get a voucher, get help from an adviser.

You can use a fuel voucher at:

To use your voucher you’ll need to take:

  • the code and instructions

  • some form of ID - for example, your passport or a bill with your name and address

If you have a smart prepayment meter you can also add the fuel voucher credit to your account online. To do this, follow the instructions on your voucher.

Check your fuel voucher to see when it expires. You might have to use it within 15 days.

If you have problems using your voucher, contact the organisation that gave it to you - you should be able to find their contact information on the instructions.

If you don’t use gas or electricity to heat your home

If you can’t afford to buy fuel, you might be able to get financial help. You might be eligible if you:

  • rely on oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal or wood as your main source of heating

  • aren’t on the gas grid

You’ll need to show that you can't heat your home because you can't afford to buy fuel - or you might not be able to afford it soon.

Talk to an adviser if you need help. Your local Citizens Advice will need to apply for you.

Check what other help you can get if you use alternative fuels.

Check if you can sign up to the Priority Services Register

You can get extra help from your gas and electricity supplier by signing up to the Priority Services Register. You can sign up if you’re either:

  • of State Pension age

  • disabled or have a long-term health condition

  • considered ‘vulnerable’ by your energy network

You could be classed as vulnerable if you're disabled or have a long-term health condition. Your energy network might also consider you vulnerable if you:

  • don't speak or read English well

  • have children under 5 years old or are pregnant

  • have no sense of smell or would struggle to smell gas

Check if you're eligible to sign up to the Priority Services Register.

If you’re on the Priority Services Register your energy supplier can:

  • make your call a priority when you contact them

  • give their engineers a password if they visit or contact you - so you know they’re genuine

  • move your prepayment meter if you struggle to get to it

Signing up to the Priority Services Register 

You’ll need to fill out the form on your electricity operator’s website - this is who owns and operates the electricity cables in your area. Your electricity operator is different from your electricity supplier, who sends your bills.

You can check who your electricity network operator is on the Power Cut 105 website. You'll need to know the postcode of your property. 

If you pay your landlord for energy

If your landlord gets a discount on energy from a government scheme, they must pass on a fair amount of the discount to you.

You can check how your landlord should pass on energy discounts and how to challenge them if they don’t.

If your home is on a heat network

Heat network suppliers must pass on a fair amount of any discount they get from the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme to you.

You can check how to get a discount on your energy if you’re part of a heat network.

Grants to help pay off energy debt

If you’re behind with your energy bills, you might be able to get a grant to help you pay off your debt. This might be from your energy company or a charitable trust.

Check which grants you can apply for.

Grants for energy-saving home improvements

You might be able to get help with the cost of things like insulation, a new boiler or improvements to your heating.

Check if you can get help making energy-saving improvements to your home.

Local energy grants

You might be able to find grants or schemes run by your local council. You can try searching on your local council’s website for energy grants. Find your local council's website on GOV.UK.

Rewards for reducing energy use at set times

You might be able to earn rewards this winter for using less electricity at certain times. This is through a scheme called the Demand Flexibility Service, which is running from November 2023 to March 2024. 

You’ll need to have a smart meter in your home or have a business account with half-hourly meter readings to be eligible for the scheme.

If you’re eligible and your supplier is part of the scheme, they should be in touch to tell you how to sign up. You can also use some apps to take part without involving your supplier. 

Check if your supplier and which apps are part of the Demand Flexibility Service on the National Grid website.

Your supplier or app provider will contact you before each event to let you know when you should use less electricity. The events generally last an hour and run at the peak time for energy use, between 4pm and 7pm. 

Earning the most from the scheme

At the times your supplier asks you to use less electricity, you should avoid using the appliances that use the most energy, including:

  • tumble dryer

  • dishwasher

  • washing machine

  • electric shower

  • electric oven

Don’t stop using essential appliances like your fridge freezer or heating. It’s very important to stay warm and healthy. There’s no need to turn your lights off either - lightbulbs don’t use much electricity.

You can use our calculator to compare how much power different electrical appliances use.

To stay safe, don’t set appliances to run when you are in bed or out of the house.

You can find out more about the Demand Flexibility Service on the National Grid website.

Check if you can get a Warm Home Discount

If you get benefits, you might be able to get £150 off your electricity bill or £150 added to your prepayment meter. You’ll get the payment by the end of March 2024. You don’t need to apply for the scheme - payments are automatic.

Check if your benefits might make you eligible

You should get the Warm Home Discount if you or your partner got the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit on 13 August 2023.

You might also be able to get the Warm Home Discount if you get a different benefit and the government decides you have 'high energy costs'. This is based on the type of property you live in, not how much you spend. They'll work this out automatically - you don't need to contact them.

If you have high energy costs, you’ll get the Warm Home Discount if you or your partner got any of the following benefits on 13 August 2023:

  • Universal Credit

  • Pension Credit Savings Credit

  • Housing Benefit

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits - and your income is below the limit that applies to your household 

Income limits for Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits

No children 1 child 2 children 3 children 4 or more children
Single adult No children £17,688 1 child £22,942 2 children £28,215 3 children £33,489 4 or more children £38,763
2 or more adults No children £26,369 1 child £31,643 2 children £36,917 3 children £42,191 4 or more children £47,465

The limits are for your gross income per year. This means the total amount before any tax and deductions are taken off. The limits don’t include income from:

  • Child Tax Credit 

  • Working Tax Credit

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • Personal Independence Payment

  • Attendance Allowance

The government works out your income from your tax credit records.

Check if your supplier is part of the scheme

You’ll only get the Warm Home Discount if your supplier is part of the scheme. Check if your supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme on GOV.UK.

If you're eligible for the winter 2023 to 2024 payment the government will send you a letter between mid-October 2023 and mid-January 2024. 

They might ask you for more information to check whether you're eligible. You must tell them by 29 February 2024 - this is when the scheme closes. If you send it by post make sure it gets there in plenty of time. 

Check if you're eligible for the Warm Home Discount on GOV.UK.

If you’re eligible for the Warm Home Discount but switched supplier after 13 August 2023

Check the supplier you were with on 13 August 2023. If you were eligible to get the discount from them, you should still get it. Contact your old supplier and:

  • ask if they have your contact details

  • check when the payment will be made

If your supplier on 13 August 2023 isn't in the scheme, you won’t get the discount. This is true even if you switched to a supplier in the scheme after this date.

Check if the supplier you were with is part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

If you live in a mobile home or park home site

You might be able to get the £150 discount as part of the Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme. To get the discount you must:

  • permanently live on a park home site

  • pay for your electricity through the park, or as part of their pitch fees

You must also meet a rule about your household income. 

You are eligible if you or somebody you live with get any of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Universal Credit - and your income is below £1,562 per month

  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit - and your income is below £18,723 per year

  • Housing Benefit or housing element of Universal Credit

You’re also eligible if your household income is below £18,723 per year before any tax or other deductions are taken off.

You should apply for the Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme as soon as possible. There’s limited funding and the applications will be dealt with in the order they're received.

Apply for the Park Homes Warm Home Discount Scheme on the Charis website.

If you're of State Pension age

You can usually get a Winter Fuel Payment, this is an annual one-off payment to help you pay for heating during the winter.

You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK.

You’ll get between £250 to £600, this automatically includes an extra Pensioner Cost of Living Payment.

You should start getting the Winter Fuel Payment automatically once you reach State Pension age, but sometimes you might need to apply. You can check how to apply for the Winter Fuel Payment on GOV.UK.

Check how much Pensioner Cost of Living Payment you'll get

You’ll get £300 if you live either:

  • on your own

  • with people who don’t qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment

If you live with someone else who qualifies for the Winter Fuel Payment, the amount you’ll get depends on whether either of you gets any of the following:

  • Pension Credit

  • income-related ESA

  • income-based JSA

If either you or the person you live with gets one of these benefits, you’ll both get £300 - as long as you’re not partners. If you’re partners, you’ll only get one £300 payment.

If neither of you gets one of these benefits, you’ll both get £150.

If you live in residential care and qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you'll get £150 unless you get any of these benefits. If you get any of the benefits, you won't get a pensioner cost of living payment.

Check if you can get a Cold Weather Payment

If you get certain benefits you might get a Cold Weather Payment when it's very cold. This is a one-off payment to help pay for extra heating costs.

You’ll get Cold Weather Payments between 1 November and 31 March. You'll get a payment each time the average temperature in your area drops below zero degrees Celsius for 7 days in a row.

You’ll only be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment if you already get:

  • Pension Credit

  • Income Support

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Universal Credit

  • support for mortgage interest

If you're eligible, you'll get paid automatically. Check if you can get a Cold Weather Payment on GOV.UK.

If you use an oxygen concentrator

If you use an oxygen concentrator for a disability or health condition, you can get money back for the electricity it uses. This is called a ‘rebate’.

You should get the rebate every 3 months. The person who installs your concentrator should tell you how to get the rebate.

If your rebate hasn’t been set up, contact the supplier of your concentrator. Your supplier depends on where you live. If you live in:

If you need somewhere to stay warm

You can ask your local council if they have information about nearby ‘warm spaces’. These are public places that anyone can use to stay warm - for example a community space like a library.

You can find out how to contact your local council on GOV.UK.

If you’re struggling with living costs

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.

If you’re finding things difficult

Your mental health is as important as your physical health. You should talk to your GP if your money problems are affecting your mental health.

You can find other ways to get help with your mental health on the Mind website.

Samaritans

If you need to speak to someone right now, you can call the Samaritans for free.

Helpline: 116 123 (Monday to Sunday at any time)

Welsh Language Line: 0808 164 0123 (Monday to Sunday 7pm to 11pm)

Shout

You can also text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained Shout 85258 volunteer. Texts are free, anonymous and confidential from anywhere in the UK.

If you think it's an emergency

If you think your life or someone else’s is at risk, you should call 999 or go to A&E if you can.

You can also find a list of urgent mental health services on the Mind website.

Further help

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need more help - a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone, online chat or by email.

Help us improve our website

Take 3 minutes to tell us if you found what you needed on our website. Your feedback will help us give millions of people the information they need.